Articles | Volume 18, issue 5
31 May 2000
31 May 2000

A comparison between mesospheric wind measurements made near Christchurch (44°S, 173°E) using the high resolution doppler imager (HRDI) and a medium frequency (MF) radar

D. J. Frame, B. N. Lawrence, G. J. Fraser, and M. D. Burrage

Abstract. We report on the comparison of winds measured by a medium frequency (MF) radar near Christchurch, New Zealand, and by the high resolution doppler imager (HRDI). Previous comparisons have demonstrated that there can be significant differences in the winds obtained by the two techniques, and our results are no different. However, these data show relatively good agreement in the meridional direction, but large differences in the zonal direction, where the radar is regularly measuring the zonal wind as too easterly. To do the comparison, overpasses from the satellite must be obtained when it is close to the radar site. The radar data are averaged in time around the overpass because we know the radars sample phenomena which have spatial and temporal scales which make them invisible to HRDI. There are a limited number of overpass comparisons which limit our confidence in these results, but a detailed analysis of these data show that the proximity of the overpass is often an important factor in the differences obtained. Other factors examined include the influence of the local time of the overpass, and the amount of radar data averaged around the overpass time.

Key words: Atmospheric composition and structure (instruments and techniques) · Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (middle atmosphere dynamics; instruments and techniques)