Articles | Volume 21, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13763–13795, 2021
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13763–13795, 2021

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 et al.

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Orographically induced spontaneous imbalance within the jet causing a large-scale gravity wave event
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Subject: Dynamics | Research Activity: Remote Sensing | Altitude Range: Mesosphere | Science Focus: Physics (physical properties and processes)
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Cited articles

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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