Articles | Volume 21, issue 18
Research article
16 Sep 2021
Research article |  | 16 Sep 2021

The semiannual oscillation (SAO) in the tropical middle atmosphere and its gravity wave driving in reanalyses and satellite observations

Manfred Ern, Mohamadou Diallo, Peter Preusse, Martin G. Mlynczak, Michael J. Schwartz, Qian Wu, and Martin Riese


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Short summary
Details of the driving of the semiannual oscillation (SAO) of the tropical winds in the middle atmosphere are still not known. We investigate the SAO and its driving by small-scale gravity waves (GWs) using satellite data and different reanalyses. In a large altitude range, GWs mainly drive the SAO westerlies, but in the upper mesosphere GWs seem to drive both SAO easterlies and westerlies. Reanalyses reproduce some features of the SAO but are limited by model-inherent damping at upper levels.
Final-revised paper