Articles | Volume 16, issue 8
Research article
21 Apr 2016
Research article |  | 21 Apr 2016

First continuous ground-based observations of long period oscillations in the vertically resolved wind field of the stratosphere and mesosphere

Rolf Rüfenacht, Klemens Hocke, and Niklaus Kämpfer

Abstract. Direct measurements of middle-atmospheric wind oscillations with periods between 5 and 50 days in the altitude range between mid-stratosphere (5 hPa) and upper mesosphere (0.02 hPa) have been made using a novel ground-based Doppler wind radiometer. The oscillations were not inferred from tracer measurements, as the radiometer offers the unique capability of near-continuous horizontal wind profile measurements. Observations from four campaigns at high, middle and low latitudes with an average duration of 10 months have been analyzed. The dominant oscillation has mostly been found to lie in the extra-long period range (20–50 days), while the well-known atmospheric normal modes around 5, 10 and 16 days have also been observed. Comparisons of our results with ECMWF operational analysis data revealed remarkably good agreement below 0.3 hPa but discrepancies above.

Short summary
We quantitatively analyze oscillations with periods from 5 to 50 days in horizontal wind profiles between mid-stratosphere and mesopause based on more than 44 months of data from high, mid- and low latitudes measured by a novel instrument. For the first time, long time series of continuous wind measurements allow direct observations of dynamics throughout this altitude range. The observations agree remarkably well with the ECMWF model in the stratosphere but discrepancies exist in the mesosphere.
Final-revised paper