A climatology of nonmigrating semidiurnal tides from TIMED Doppler Interferometer (TIDI) wind data

J. Oberheide, Q. Wu, T. L. Killeen, M. E. Hagan, R. G. Roble

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the launch of the TIMED satellite in December 2001, continuous temperature and wind data sets amenable to MLT tidal analyses became available. The wind measuring instrument, the TIMED Doppler Interferometer (TIDI), is operating since early 2002. Its day- and nighttime capability allows to derive tidal winds over a range of MLT altitudes. This paper presents climatologies (June 2002-June 2005) of monthly mean amplitudes and phases for six nonmigrating semidiurnal tidal components between 85 and 105 km altitude and between 45°S and 45°N latitude (westward propagating wave numbers 4, 3, 1; the standing oscillation s0; and eastward propagating wave numbers 1, 2) in the zonal and meridional wind directions. Amplitude errors are 15-20% (accuracy) and 0.8 m/s (precision). The phase error is 2 h. The TIDI analysis agrees well with 1991-1994 UARS results at 95 km. During boreal winter, amplitudes of a single component can reach 10 m/s at latitudes equatorward of 45°. Aggregate effects of nonmigrating tides can easily reach or exceed the amplitude of the migrating tide. Comparisons with the global scale wave model (GSWM) and the thermosphere-ionosphere-mesosphere-electrodynamics general circulation model (TIME-GCM) are partly inconclusive but they suggest that wave-wave interaction and latent heat release in the tropical troposphere both play an important role in forcing the semidiurnal westward 1, westward 3, and standing components. Latent heat release is the leading source of the eastward propagating components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2203-2218
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number17-18
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • GSWM
  • MLT winds
  • Nonmigrating semidiurnal tides
  • TIDI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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