Global observations of 2 day wave coupling to the diurnal tide in a high-altitude forecast-assimilation system

R. S. Lieberman, D. M. Riggin, V. Nguyen, S. E. Palo, D. E. Siskind, N. J. Mitchell, G. Stober, S. Wilhelm, N. J. Livesey

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We examine wave components in a high-altitude forecast-assimilation system that arise from nonlinear interaction between the diurnal tide and the westward traveling quasi 2 day wave. The process yields a westward traveling “sum” wave with zonal wave number 4 and a period of 16 h, and an eastward traveling “difference” wave with zonal wave number 2 and a period of 2 days. While the eastward 2 day wave has been reported in satellite temperatures, the westward 16 h wave lies outside the Nyquist limits of resolution of twice daily local time satellite sampling. Hourly output from a high-altitude forecast-assimilation model is used to diagnose the nonlinear quadriad. A steady state primitive equation model forced by tide-2 day wave advection is used to intepret the nonlinear wave products. The westward 16 h wave maximizes in the midlatitude winter mesosphere and behaves like an inertia-gravity wave. The nonlinearly generated component of the eastward 2 day wave maximizes at high latitudes in the lower thermosphere, and only weakly penetrates to low latitudes. The 16 h and the eastward 2 day waves are of comparable amplitude and alias to the same apparent frequency when viewed from a satellite perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4135-4149
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research : Atmospheres
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2017



  • Waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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