The 16-day planetary wave in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere

N. J. Mitchell, H. R. Middleton, A. G. Beard, P. J.S. Williams, H. G. Muller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (SciVal)


A meteor radar located at Sheffield in the UK has been used to measure wind oscillations with periods in the range 10-28 days in the mesosphere/lower-thermosphere region at 53.5̊N, 3.9̊W from January 1990 to August 1994. The data reveal a motion field in which wave activity occurs over a range of frequencies and in episodes generally lasting for less than two months. A seasonal cycle is apparent in which the largest observed amplitudes are as high as 14 ms-1 and are observed from January to mid-April. A minimum in activity occurs in late June to early July. A second, smaller, maximum follows in late summer/autumn where amplitudes reach up to 7-10 ms-1. Considerable interannual variability is apparent but wave activity is observed in the summers of all the years examined, albeit at very small amplitudes near mid summer. This behaviour suggests that the equatorial winds in the mesopause region do not completely prevent interhemispheric ducting of the wave from the winter hemisphere, or that it is generated in situ.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1447-1456
Number of pages10
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 1999


  • Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (middle atmosphere dynamics; thermospheric dynamics; waves and tides)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The 16-day planetary wave in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this