Diurnal Tidal Motions Near the Stratopause during 48 Hours at White Sands Missile Range

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  • 1 U.S. Army Electronics Research and Development Activity, White Sands Missile Range, N. Mex.
  • | 2 University of Washington, Seattle
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Abstract

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.

Abstract

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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