An update to the Horizontal Wind Model (HWM): The quiet time thermosphere

Douglas P. Drob, John T. Emmert, John W. Meriwether, Jonathan J. Makela, Eelco Doornbos, Mark Conde, Gonzalo Hernandez, John Noto, Katherine A. Zawdie, Sarah E. McDonald, Joe D. Huba, Jeff H. Klenzing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Horizontal Wind Model (HWM) has been updated in the thermosphere with new observations and formulation changes. These new data are ground-based 630 nm Fabry-Perot Interferometer (FPI) measurements in the equatorial and polar regions, as well as cross-track winds from the Gravity Field and Steady State Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) satellite. The GOCE wind observations provide valuable wind data in the twilight regions. The ground-based FPI measurements fill latitudinal data gaps in the prior observational database. Construction of this reference model also provides the opportunity to compare these new measurements. The resulting update (HWM14) provides an improved time-dependent, observationally based, global empirical specification of the upper atmospheric general circulation patterns and migrating tides. In basic agreement with existing accepted theoretical knowledge of the thermosphere general circulation, additional calculations indicate that the empirical wind specifications are self-consistent with climatological ionosphere plasma distribution and electric field patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)301-319
Number of pages19
JournalEarth and Space Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2015


  • empirical model
  • general circulation
  • quiet time
  • thermosphere
  • wind
  • zonal average

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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