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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 20, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 20, 81–91, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-20-81-2002
© Author(s) 2002. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 20, 81–91, 2002
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-20-81-2002
© Author(s) 2002. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  31 Jan 2002

31 Jan 2002

Mean winds of the mesosphere and lower thermosphere at 52° N in the period 1988–2000

H. R. Middleton1, N. J. Mitchell1, and H. G. Muller2 H. R. Middleton et al.
  • 1Department of Physics, University of Wales Aberystwyth, Penglais, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales, SY23 3BZ, UK
  • 2University of Cranfield, Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, Swindon, SN6 8LA, UK
  • Correspondence to: H. R. Middleton (hrm@aber.ac.uk)

Abstract. A meteor radar in the UK (near 52° N) has been used to measure the mean winds of the mesosphere/lower-thermosphere (MLT) region over the period 1988–2000. The seasonal course and interannual variability is characterised and comparisons are made with a number of models. Annual mean wind trends were found to be + 0.37 ms-1 yr-1 for the zonal component and + 0.157 ms-1 yr-1 for the meridional component. Seasonal means revealed significant trends in the case of meridional winds in spring ( + 0.38 ms-1 yr-1) and autumn ( + 0.29 ms-1 yr-1), and zonal winds in summer ( + 0.48 ms-1 yr-1) and autumn ( + 0.38 ms-1 yr-1). Significant correlation coefficients, R, between the sunspot number and seasonal mean wind are found in four instances. In the case of the summer zonal winds, R = + 0.732; for the winter meridional winds, R = - 0.677; for the winter zonal winds, R = - 0.472; and for the autumn zonal winds R = + 0.508.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (climatology; general circulation; middle atmospheric dynamics)

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