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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 4
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 1971-1987, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-1971-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 11, 1971-1987, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-11-1971-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 06 Apr 2018

Research article | 06 Apr 2018

Intercomparison of middle-atmospheric wind in observations and models

Rolf Rüfenacht1,a,b, Gerd Baumgarten1, Jens Hildebrand1, Franziska Schranz2, Vivien Matthias1, Gunter Stober1, Franz-Josef Lübken1, and Niklaus Kämpfer2 Rolf Rüfenacht et al.
  • 1Leibniz-Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the Rostock University, Kühlungsborn, Germany
  • 2Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  • anow at: Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Payerne, Switzerland
  • bnow at: Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. Wind profile information throughout the entire upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere (USLM) is important for the understanding of atmospheric dynamics but became available only recently, thanks to developments in remote sensing techniques and modelling approaches. However, as wind measurements from these altitudes are rare, such products have generally not yet been validated with (other) observations. This paper presents the first long-term intercomparison of wind observations in the USLM by co-located microwave radiometer and lidar instruments at Andenes, Norway (69.3°N, 16.0°E). Good correspondence has been found at all altitudes for both horizontal wind components for nighttime as well as daylight conditions. Biases are mostly within the random errors and do not exceed 5–10ms−1, which is less than 10% of the typically encountered wind speeds. Moreover, comparisons of the observations with the major reanalyses and models covering this altitude range are shown, in particular with the recently released ERA5, ECMWF's first reanalysis to cover the whole USLM region. The agreement between models and observations is very good in general, but temporally limited occurrences of pronounced discrepancies (up to 40ms−1) exist. In the article's Appendix the possibility of obtaining nighttime wind information about the mesopause region by means of microwave radiometry is investigated.

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Wind information throughout the middle-atmosphere is crucial for the understanding of atmospheric dynamics but became available only recently, thanks to developments in remote sensing and modelling approaches. We present the first thorough assessment of the quality of the wind estimates by comparing co-located observations from lidar and microwave radiometry and opposing them to the major atmospheric models. Moreover we evaluated a new approach for measuring mesopause region wind by radiometry.
Wind information throughout the middle-atmosphere is crucial for the understanding of...
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