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N. J. Beyers and B. T. Miers

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B. T. Miers and N. J. Beyers

Abstract

Rocketsonde wind and temperature measurements from most of the National Meteorological Rocket Network (or simply Rocket Network) stations are studied. In the altitude region considered, there were over 1100 wind measurements and some 200 temperature soundings. This includes Rocket Network data through August 1962 and a few 1957 and 1958 soundings taken prior to the initiation of the Rocket Network. A simple statistical treatment has been used to determine mean temperatures and mean wind speeds, components, shears, and a measure of variability. The wind data presented generally support previously constructed cross sections of the wind regime over North America. A significant mass transport from subtropical to midlatitudes was indicated. The meridional component of the subtropical wind did not reverse direction with the seasonal change in the zonal wind. In the subpolar stratosphere the seasonal changes of temperature are much more pronounced; the summer is warm (near subtropical values) and the winter much colder. The subtropical summer temperatures were found to be colder than the subtropical winter temperatures. There is still a significant disagreement as to the more refined temperature structure of the subtropical region.

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N. J. Beyers and B. T. Miers

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N. J. Beyers and B. T. Miers

Abstract

Diurnal temperature variations between 30 and 60 km have been determined in a series of eleven meteorological rocket soundings from 0400 MST 7 February 1964 through 0205 MST 8 February 1964 over White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The soundings were spaced at 2-hour intervals and temperatures were measured with thermistor type instrumentation suspended on a parachute. Minimum temperatures were recorded near 0400 to 0600 MST and maximum temperatures occurred about 1400 MST. The temperature range decreased from near 20C at 55 km to 15C at 45 km and to near 5C at 35 km. Significant non-diurnal heating was also present. Additional sets of temperature soundings made at 1400 and 1600 MST on 21 November 1964 and 0400 and 0600 MST on the 22nd over White Sands Missile Range were available for comparison. These soundings indicated a day to night variation of 15C from 63 km down to 55 km with marked dampening of variation thereafter. The November soundings may not represent the entire diurnal range since the soundings might have included large scale non-diurnal heating which was impossible to isolate.

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N. J. Beyers, B. T. Miers, and R. J. Reed

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Wind and temperature soundings from a series of 16 meteorological rocket firings over a period of 51 hours between 30 June and 2 July 1965 are presented. Harmonic analysis revealed large diurnal oscillations in the zonal and meridional winds. Both components displayed amplitudes of about 12 m sec−1 near the stratopause (52–56 km) with the phase of the meridional (v) component leading the zonal (u) component by about 5–7 hours at that level. The v component was generally more uniform in both phase and amplitude over the two-day period. Harmonic analysis of the temperatures also revealed a diurnal oscillation with an amplitude of 8.2C at 52 km with the maximum occurring near 1330 hours local time. An attempt to arrive at an independent estimate of the temperature cycle, based essentially on a generalized thermal wind equation, yielded inconclusive results. When this series was combined with previous data, it was concluded that an unmistakable, dominant, diurnal tidal oscillation exists in the stratopause region over White Sands Missile Range (32N) during most or all seasons, particularly in the meridional component.

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