Lidar measurements of mesospheric temperature inversion at a low latitude
Abstract. The Rayleigh lidar data collected on 119 nights from March 1998 to February 2000 were used to study the statistical characteristics of the low latitude mesospheric temperature inversion observed over Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E), India. The occurrence frequency of the inversion showed semiannual variation with maxima in the equinoxes and minima in the summer and winter, which was quite different from that reported for the mid-latitudes. The peak of the inversion layer was found to be confined to the height range of 73 to 79 km with the maximum occurrence centered around 76 km, with a weak seasonal dependence that fits well to an annual cycle with a maximum in June and a minimum in December. The magnitude of the temperature deviation associated with the inversion was found to be as high as 32 K, with the most probable value occurring at about 20 K. Its seasonal dependence seems to follow an annual cycle with a maximum in April and a minimum in October. The observed characteristics of the inversion layer are compared with that of the mid-latitudes and discussed in light of the current understanding of the source mechanisms.
Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (pressure, density and temperature). Meterology and atmospheric dynamics (climatology)