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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 17, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 17, 257-272, 1999
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-999-0257-4
© European Geosciences Union 1999
Ann. Geophys., 17, 257-272, 1999
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00585-999-0257-4
© European Geosciences Union 1999

  28 Feb 1999

28 Feb 1999

Calculating the azimuth of mountain waves, using the effect of tilted fine-scale stable layers on VHF radar echoes

R. M. Worthington R. M. Worthington
  • Department of Physics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Dyfed, SY23 3BZ, UK

Abstract. A simple method is described, based on standard VHF wind-profiler data, where imbalances of echo power between four off-vertical radar beams, caused by mountain waves, can be used to calculate the orientation of the wave pattern. It is shown that the mountain wave azimuth (direction of the horizontal component of the wavevector), is given by the vector [ W (PE - P W ) ,W (PN - P S ) ]; PN, PS, PE, PW are radar echo powers, measured in dB, in beams pointed away from vertical by the same angle towards north, south, east and west respectively, and W is the vertical wind velocity. The method is applied to Aberystwyth MST radar data, and the calculated wave vector usually, but not always, points into the low-level wind direction. The mean vertical wind at Aberystwyth, which may also be affected by tilted aspect-sensitive layers, is investigated briefly using the entire radar output 1990-1997. The mean vertical-wind profile is inconsistent with existing theories, but a new mountain-wave interpretation is proposed.

Key words. Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (middle atmosphere dynamics; waves and tides; instruments and techniques).

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