Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-224
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2021-224

  24 Mar 2021

24 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Intercomparison of Middle Atmospheric Meteorological Analyses for the Northern Hemisphere Winter 2009–2010

John P. McCormack1,a, V. Lynn Harvey2,3, Nicholas Pedatella4, Dai Koshin5, Kaoru Sato5, Lawrence Coy6,7, Shingo Watanabe8, Cora E. Randall2,3, Fabrizio Sassi1, and Laura A. Holt9 John P. McCormack et al.
  • 1Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC, USA
  • 2Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO, USA
  • 3Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder CO, USA
  • 4High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder CO, USA
  • 5Department of Earth and Planetary Science, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 6Science Systems and Applications, Landover MD, USA
  • 7NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD, USA
  • 8Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama, Japan
  • 9Northwest Research Associates, Boulder CO, USA
  • anow at: Heliophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington DC, USA

Abstract. Detailed meteorological analyses based on observations extending through the middle atmosphere (~15–100 km altitude) can provide key information to whole atmosphere modelling systems regarding the physical mechanisms linking day-to-day changes in ionospheric electron density to meteorological variability near the Earth’s surface. It is currently unclear how middle atmosphere analyses produced by various research groups consistently represent the wide range of proposed linking mechanisms involving migrating and non-migrating tides, planetary waves, gravity waves, and their impact on the zonal mean state in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) region. To begin to address this issue, we present the first intercomparison among four such analyses, JAGUAR-DAS, MERRA-2, NAVGEM-HA, and WACCMX+DART, focusing on the Northern Hemisphere (NH) 2009–2010 winter that includes a major stratospheric sudden warming (SSW) in late January. This intercomparison examines the altitude, latitude, and time dependences of zonal mean zonal winds and temperatures among these four analyses over the 1 December 2009–31 March 2010 period, as well as latitude and altitude dependences of monthly mean amplitudes of the diurnal and semidiurnal migrating solar tides, the eastward propagating diurnal zonal wave number 3 nonmigrating tide, and traveling planetary waves associated with the quasi-5 day and quasi-2-day Rossby modes. Our results show generally good agreement among the four analyses up to the stratopause (~50 km altitude). Large discrepancies begin to emerge in the MLT owing to (1) differences in the types of satellite data assimilated by each system and (2) differences in the details of the global atmospheric models used by each analysis system. The results of this intercomparison provide initial estimates of uncertainty in analyses commonly used to constrain middle atmospheric meteorological variability in whole atmosphere model simulations.

John P. McCormack et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-224', Young-Ha Kim, 26 Apr 2021
    • CC2: 'Reply on RC1', John P. McCormack, 19 May 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-224', Anonymous Referee #2, 18 May 2021
    • CC1: 'Reply on RC2', John P. McCormack, 19 May 2021

John P. McCormack et al.

John P. McCormack et al.

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Short summary
In order to have confidence in atmospheric predictions, it is important to know how well different numerical model simulations of the Earth’s atmosphere agree with one another. This work compares four different data assimilation models that extend to or beyond the mesosphere. Results shown here demonstrate that while the models are in close agreement below ~50 km, large differences arise at higher altitudes in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere that will need to be reconciled in the future.
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