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  1. Abstract

    This paper investigates the lower‐to‐upper atmosphere coupling at high latitudes (>60°N) during the northern winter months of 2012–2013 years, which includes a period of major Sudden “Stratospheric” Warming (SSW). We perform statistical analysis of thermosphere wind disturbances with periods of 30–70 min, known as the medium scale traveling atmospheric disturbances (MSTADs) in atomic oxygen green line (557.7 nm) near ∼120 km and red line (630.0 nm) emissions near ∼250 km observed from Scanning Doppler Imagers (SDIs) over Alaska. The SDI MSTADs observations (60°–75°N) are interpreted in conjunction with the previous daytime medium‐scale traveling ionospheric disturbance (MSTID) observations by SuperDARN midlatitudes (35°–65°N) radars in theF‐region ionosphere and western hemisphere, which confirm findings from the SDI instruments. Increases in MSTAD activity from SDIs show correlations with the increasing meridional planetary wave (PW) amplitudes in the stratosphere derived from MERRA2 winds. Furthermore, a detailed study of the lower atmospheric conditions from MERRA2 winds indicates that the lower atmospheric sources of MSTADs are likely due to the stratospheric generated Gravity Waves (GWs) and not orographic GWs. Favorable stratospheric propagation conditions and polar vortex disturbances resulting from the increased PW activity in the stratospheric region both appear to contribute to increased MSTAD activity in the thermosphere. Additionally, the results show that the MSTID activity from SuperDARN HF radars at mid latitudes during the January 2013 SSW is lower than the MSTAD activity in SDI winds at high latitudes.

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  2. Abstract

    We analyze the gravity waves (GWs) observed by a Rayleigh lidar at the Arctic Lidar Observatory for Middle Atmosphere Research (ALOMAR) (16.08°E, 69.38°N) in Norway atz ∼ 20–85 km on 12–14 January 2016. These GWs propagate upward and downward away fromzknee = 57 and 64 km at a horizontally‐displaced location with periodsτr ∼ 5–10 hr and vertical wavelengthsλz ∼ 9–20 km. Because the hodographs are distorted, we introduce an alternative method to determine the GW parameters. We find that these GWs are medium to large‐scale, and propagate north/northwestward with intrinsic horizontal phase speeds of ∼35–65 m/s. Since the GW parameters are similar above and belowzknee, these are secondary GWs created by local body forces (LBFs) south/southeast of ALOMAR. We use the nudged HIAMCM (HIgh Altitude Mechanistic general Circulation Model) to model these events. Remarkably, the model reproduces similar GW structures over ALOMAR, withzknee = 58 and 66 km. The event #1 GWs are created by a LBF at ∼35°E, ∼60°N, andz ∼ 58 km. This LBF is created by the breaking and dissipation of primary GWs generated and amplified by the imbalance of the polar night jet below the wind maximum; the primary GWs for this event are created atz ∼ 25–35 km at 49–53°N. We also find that the HIAMCM GWs agree well with those observed by the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS) satellite, and that those AIRS GWs south and north of ∼50°N over Europe are mainly mountain waves and GWs from the polar vortex, respectively.

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  3. Abstract

    In this paper, we simulate an observed mountain wave event over central Europe and investigate the subsequent generation, propagation, phase speeds and spatial scales, and momentum deposition of secondary waves under three different tidal wind conditions. We find the mountain wave breaks just below the lowest critical level in the mesosphere. As the mountain wave breaks, it extends outwards along the phases and fluid associated with the breaking flows downstream of its original location by 500–1,000 km. The breaking generates a broad range of secondary waves with horizontal scales ranging from the mountain wave instability scales (20–300 km), to multiples of the mountain wave packet scale (420 km+) and phase speeds from 40 to 150 m/s in the lower thermosphere. The secondary wave morphology consists of semi‐concentric patterns with wave propagation generally opposing the local tidal winds in the mesosphere. Shears in the tidal winds cause breaking of the secondary waves and local wave forcing which generates even more secondary waves. The tidal winds also influence the dominant wavelengths and phase speeds of secondary waves that reach the thermosphere. The secondary waves that reach the thermosphere deposit their energy and momentum over a broad area of the thermosphere, mostly eastward of the source and concentrated between 110 and 130 km altitude. The secondary wave forcing is significant and will likely be very important for the dynamics of the thermosphere. A large portion of this forcing comes from nonlinearly generated secondary waves at relatively small‐scales which arise from the wave breaking processes.

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  4. Abstract

    This study presents multi‐instrument observations of persistent large‐scale traveling ionosphere/atmospheric disturbances (LSTIDs/LSTADs) observed during moderately increased auroral electrojet activity and a sudden stratospheric warming in the polar winter hemisphere. The Global Ultraviolet Imager (GUVI), Gravity field and steady‐state Ocean Circulation Explorer, Scanning Doppler Imaging Fabry–Perot Interferometers, and the Poker Flat Incoherent Scatter Radar are used to demonstrate the presence of LSTIDs/LSTADs between 19 UT and 5 UT on 18–19 January 2013 over the Alaska region down to lower midlatitudes. This study showcases the first use of GUVI for the study of LSTADs. These novel GUVI observations demonstrate the potential for the GUVI far ultraviolet emissions to be used for global‐scale studies of waves and atmospheric disturbances in the thermosphere, a region lacking in long‐term global measurements. These observations typify changes in the radiance from around 140 to 180 km, opening a new window into the behavior of the thermosphere.

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  5. Abstract

    Observations during 12 January 2016 revealed a series of events of significant gravity wave (GW) activity over Europe. Analysis of derived temperatures from the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder (AIRS) provides insight into the sources of these GWs, and include a new observation of stratosphere polar night jet (PNJ) generated GWs. Mountain waves were present during this time as well over the French Alps and the Carpathian Mountains and had maximum temperature perturbations,T′, as large as 27 K over the French Alps. Further investigation of the mountain waves that demonstrated their presence in the stratosphere was determined not only by stratospheric conditions but also by strong winds in the troposphere and at the surface. GWs generated in the stratosphere by the PNJ had maximumT′ of 7 K. These observations demonstrate multiple sources of GWs during a dynamically active period and implicate the role of the PNJ in both the vertical propagation of GWs generated in the troposphere and the generation of GWs from the PNJ itself.

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  6. Abstract

    We analyze quiet‐time data from the Gravity Field and Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite as it overpassed the Southern Andes atz≃275 km on 5 July 2010 at 23 UT. We extract the 20 largest traveling atmospheric disturbances from the density perturbations and cross‐track winds using Fourier analysis. Using gravity wave (GW) dissipative theory that includes realistic molecular viscosity, we search parameter space to determine which hot spot traveling atmospheric disturbances are GWs. This results in the identification of 17 GWs having horizontal wavelengthsλH = 170–1,850 km, intrinsic periodsτIr = 11–54 min, intrinsic horizontal phase speedscIH = 245–630 m/s, and density perturbations 0.03–7%. We unambiguously determine the propagation direction for 11 of these GWs and find that most had large meridional components to their propagation directions. Using reverse ray tracing, we find that 10 of these GWs must have been created in the mesosphere or thermosphere. We show that mountain waves (MWs) were observed in the stratosphere earlier that day and that these MWs saturated atz∼ 70–75 km from convective instability. We suggest that these 10 Gravity Field and Ocean Circulation Explorer hot spot GWs are likely tertiary (or higher‐order) GWs created from the dissipation of secondary GWs excited by the local body forces created from MW breaking. We suggest that the other GW is likely a secondary or tertiary (or higher‐order) GW. This study strongly suggests that the hot spot GWs over the Southern Andes in the quiet‐time middle winter thermosphere cannot be successfully modeled by conventional global circulation models where GWs are parameterized and launched in the troposphere or stratosphere.

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