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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 31, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 31, 239–250, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 31, 239–250, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Regular paper 15 Feb 2013

Regular paper | 15 Feb 2013

Case study of stratospheric gravity waves of convective origin over Arctic Scandinavia – VHF radar observations and numerical modelling

A. Réchou1, J. Arnault2, P. Dalin2, and S. Kirkwood2 A. Réchou et al.
  • 1Laboratoire de l'Atmosphère et des Cyclones, UMR8105, La Réunion University, 15 avenue René Cassin, BP 7151, 97715 St. Denis Messag Cedex 9, Ile de La Réunion, France
  • 2Swedish Institute of Space Physics, P.O. Box 812, 981 28 Kiruna, Sweden

Abstract. Orography is a well-known source of gravity and inertia-gravity waves in the atmosphere. Other sources, such as convection, are also known to be potentially important but the large amplitude of orographic waves over Scandinavia has generally precluded the possibility to study such other sources experimentally in this region. In order to better understand the origin of stratospheric gravity waves observed by the VHF radar ESRAD (Esrange MST radar) over Kiruna, in Arctic Sweden (67.88° N, 21.10° E), observations have been compared to simulations made using the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) with and without the effects of orography and clouds. This case study concerns gravity waves observed from 00:00 UTC on 18 February to 12:00 UTC on 20 February 2007. We focus on the wave signatures in the static stability field and vertical wind deduced from the simulations and from the observations as these are the parameters which are provided by the observations with the best height coverage. As is common at this site, orographic gravity waves were produced over the Scandinavian mountains and observed by the radar. However, at the same time, southward propagation of fronts in the Barents Sea created short-period waves which propagated into the stratosphere and were transported, embedded in the cyclonic winds, over the radar site.

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