Observations of 7-d planetary waves with MLT radars and the UARS-HRDI instrument

R. R. Clark, M. D. Burrage, S. J. Franke, A. H. Manson, C. E. Meek, N. J. Mitchell, H. G. Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long period variations in the mesosphere wind have been observed for some time by ground-based radars. These planetary scale disturbances have reoccuring periods at or near 5-7, 10, and 16 days and at times dominate the wind field at mesospheric heights. Recently, due to the continuous operation of several of the MLT radars and the availability of measurements from the UARS satellite, it has been possible to compare observations during periods of large planetary wave activity. Wind measurements from four MLT radars; the meteor radars at Durham, NH (43°N, 71°W) and Sheffield, UK (53°N, 2°W) and MF radars at Urbana, IL (40°N, 88°W) and Saskatoon, Canada (52°N, 107°W) were compared with the HRDI measurements during intervals when 7-d planetary waves were present. Wind data from the HRDI instrument on UARS has been processed to show the latitudinal structure and the seasonal variation of the planetary scale wind variation. The phases and amplitudes of the waves as determined by both the satellite and the radars are in good agreement. The ground-based measurements show large modulation of tides by these long period components, and also show comparable responses of these low frequency components over thousands of kilometers. The satellite and the ground-based results both indicate a preponderance of wave occurrence during the equinoxes and at preferred latitudes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1217-1228
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Issue number8-11
StatePublished - 2002


  • Atmosphere dynamics
  • Planetary waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science


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