Articles | Volume 19, issue 8
Ann. Geophys., 19, 1027–1038, 2001

Special issue: MST

Ann. Geophys., 19, 1027–1038, 2001

  31 Aug 2001

31 Aug 2001

Mean winds observed with Indian MST radar over tropical mesosphere and comparison with various techniques

M. Venkat Ratnam1, D. Narayana Rao1, T. Narayana Rao1, S. Thulasiraman2, J. B. Nee2, S. Gurubaran3, and R. Rajaram3 M. Venkat Ratnam et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, S. V. University, Tirupati – 517 502, India
  • 2Department of Physics, National Central University, Chung Li, 32054, Taiwan
  • 3Equatorial Geophysical Research Laboratory, Indian Institute of Geomagnetism, Tirunelveli, India

Abstract. Temporal variation of mean winds between the 65 to 85 km height region from the data collected over the course of approximately four years (1995–99), using the Indian MST radar located at Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E), India is presented in this paper. Mesospheric mean winds and their seasonal variation in the horizontal and vertical components are presented in detail. Westward flows during each of the equinoxes and eastward flows during the solstices are observed in the zonal component. The features of the semi-annual oscillation (SAO) and the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) in the zonal component are noted. In the meridional component, contours reveal a northward motion during the winter and a southward motion during the summer. Large inter-annual variability is found in the vertical component with magnitudes of the order of ± 2 ms-1 . The MST observed winds are also compared with the winds observed by the MF radar located at Tirunelveli (8.7° N, 77.8° E), India, the High Resolution Doppler Imager (HRDI) onboard the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS), and with the CIRA-86 model. A very good agreement is found between both the ground-based instruments (MST radar and MF radar) in the zonal component and there are few discrepancies in the meridional component. UARS/HRDI observed winds usually have larger magnitudes than the ground-based mean winds. Comparison of the MST derived winds with the CIRA-86 model in the zonal component shows that during the spring equinox and the summer, the winds agree fairly well, but there are a lot of discrepancies in the other seasons and the observed winds with the MST radar are less in magnitude, though the direction is same. The strengths and limitations in estimating reliable mesospheric mean winds using the MST radar are also discussed.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (general circulation; middle atmosphere dynamics; waves and tides)

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