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Intercomparison of middle-atmospheric wind in observations and models

By Rolf Rüfenacht, Gerd Baumgarten, Jens Hildebrand, Franziska Martina Schranz, Vivien Matthias, Gunter Stober, Franz-Josef Lübken and Niklaus Kämpfer


Wind profile information throughout the entire upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere (USLM) is important for the understanding of atmospheric dynamics but became available only recently, thanks to developments in remote sensing techniques and modelling approaches. However, as wind measurements from these altitudes are rare, such products have generally not yet been validated with (other) observations. This paper presents the first long-term intercomparison of wind observations in the USLM by co-located microwave radiometer and lidar instruments at Andenes, Norway (69.3°N, 16.0°E). Good correspondence has been found at all altitudes for both horizontal wind components for nighttime as well as daylight conditions. Biases are mostly within the random errors and do not exceed 5–10ms−1, which is less than 10% of the typically encountered wind speeds. Moreover, comparisons of the observations with the major reanalyses and models covering this altitude range are shown, in particular with the recently released ERA5, ECMWF's first reanalysis to cover the whole USLM region. The agreement between models and observations is very good in general, but temporally limited occurrences of pronounced discrepancies (up to 40ms−1) exist. In the article's Appendix the possibility of obtaining nighttime wind information about the mesopause region by means of microwave radiometry is investigated

Topics: 620 Engineering
Publisher: 'Copernicus GmbH'
Year: 2018
DOI identifier: 10.5194/amt-11-1971-2018
OAI identifier:

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