This paper investigates the lower-to-upper atmosphere coupling at high latitudes (>60°N) during the northern winter months of 2012–2013 years, which includes a period of major Sudden “Stratospheric” Warming (SSW). We perform statistical analysis of thermosphere wind disturbances with periods of 30–70 min, known as the medium scale traveling atmospheric disturbances (MSTADs) in atomic oxygen green line (557.7 nm) near ∼120 km and red line (630.0 nm) emissions near ∼250 km observed from Scanning Doppler Imagers (SDIs) over Alaska. The SDI MSTADs observations (60°–75°N) are interpreted in conjunction with the previous daytime medium-scale traveling ionospheric disturbance (MSTID) observations by SuperDARN midlatitudes (35°–65°N) radars in the F-region ionosphere and western hemisphere, which confirm findings from the SDI instruments. Increases in MSTAD activity from SDIs show correlations with the increasing meridional planetary wave (PW) amplitudes in the stratosphere derived from MERRA2 winds. Furthermore, a detailed study of the lower atmospheric conditions from MERRA2 winds indicates that the lower atmospheric sources of MSTADs are likely due to the stratospheric generated Gravity Waves (GWs) and not orographic GWs. Favorable stratospheric propagation conditions and polar vortex disturbances resulting from the increased PW activity in the stratospheric region both appear to contribute to increased MSTAD activity in the thermosphere. Additionally, the results show that the MSTID activity from SuperDARN HF radars at mid latitudes during the January 2013 SSW is lower than the MSTAD activity in SDI winds at high latitudes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science
- Space and Planetary Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- gravity waves
- polar night jet
- Scanning Doppler Imagers