A Study of Inertia-Gravity Waves in the Middle Stratosphere Based on Intensive Radiosonde Observations

Access this Article

Search this Article



An intensive observation of the stratosphere has been made using 10 radiosondes every 3h for the time period of 11-12 May 2006 at Shigaraki, Japan (34.85゜N, 136.11゜E). Horizontal wind and temperature data were successfully obtained with high accuracy in the height region up to about 36km. The sampling time intervals are 2s corresponding to a nominal vertical resolution of about 10m. Two packets of wavelike fluctuations whose phases propagate downward are detected around a height of 34km (hereafter referred to as Wave-A) and of 24km (Wave-B) in the obtained vertical profiles of horizontal winds. Wave parameters are estimated using a hodograph analysis under an assumption that these fluctuations are due to inertia-gravity waves (IGWs). The ground-based wave periods are 11 and 21h, the horizontal wavelengths are 850 and 900km, and the vertical wavelengths are 6.0 and 2.6km, for Wave-A and Wave-B, respectively. It is also shown that both IGWs propagate energy upward and north-northwestward relative to the background wind. The validity of the assumption is confirmed by the accordance of two independent estimates of the ground-based frequency. The horizontal structure seen in the horizontal divergence field calculated from European Centre for Medium-rangeWeather Forecasts (ECMWF) operational analysis data is consistent with the estimated wave parameters. Sources of the two IGWs are examined by a ray tracing method. Both IGW rays are traced back to the level and latitude of the mid-latitude westerly jet. Detailed examination for temporal variation of the wave structure indicates that the IGWs meandered eastward slightly south of the mid-latitude jet, turned north-northwestward, ascended rapidly where the background wind direction was changed to southward, and reached the middle stratosphere over the observation site. An interesting point is that both locally-defined Rossby number and cross-stream Lagrangian Rossby number are large in the regions where the IGW packets were situated during propagation around the jet from several days. Therefore, it is likely that the IGWs were generated in the vicinity of the unbalanced westerly jet through the spontaneous adjustment processes.


  • Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan

    Journal of the Meteorological Society of Japan 86(5), 719-732, 2008-10-25

    Meteorogical Society of Japan

References:  29


  • NII Article ID (NAID)
  • Text Lang
  • Article Type
  • ISSN
  • NDL Article ID
  • NDL Source Classification
  • NDL Call No.
  • Data Source
    CJP  NDL  NII-ELS  NDL-Digital 
Page Top