Analysis of migrating and non-migrating tides of the Extended Unified Model in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere

Atmospheric tides play a key role in coupling the lower, middle, and upper atmosphere/ionosphere. The tides reach large amplitudes in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT), where they can have significant fluxes of energy and momentum, and so strongly influence the coupling and dynamics. The tides must therefore be accurately represented in general circulation models (GCMs) that seek to model the coupling of atmospheric layers and impacts on the ionosphere. The tides consist of both migrating (sun-following) and non-migrating (not sun-following) components, both of which have important influences on the atmosphere. The Extended Unified Model (ExUM) is a recently developed version of the Met Office's GCM (the Unified Model) which has been extended to include the MLT. Here, we present the first in-depth analysis of migrating and non-migrating components in the ExUM. We show that the ExUM produces both non-migrating and migrating tides in the MLT of significant amplitude across a rich spectrum of spatial and temporal components. The dominant non-migrating components in the MLT are found to be DE3, DW2, and DW3 in the diurnal tide and S0, SW1, and SW3 in the semidiurnal tide. These components in the model can have monthly mean amplitudes at a height of 95 km as large as 35 m s−1/10 K. All the non-migrating components exhibit a strong seasonal variability in amplitude, and a significant short-term variability is evident. Both the migrating and non-migrating components exhibit notable variation with latitude. For example, the temperature and wind diurnal tides maximise at low latitudes and the semidiurnal tides include maxima at high latitudes. A comparison against published satellite and ground-based observations shows generally good agreement in latitudinal tidal structure, with more differences in seasonal tidal structure. Our results demonstrate the capability of the ExUM for modelling atmospheric migrating and non-migrating tides, and this lays the foundation for its future development into a whole atmosphere model. To this end, we make specific recommendations on further developments which would improve the capability of the model.


Publication status:
Authors: Griffith, M.J., Mitchell, N.J.

1 June, 2022
Annales Geophysicae / 40
32pp / 327-358
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