Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Wind and temperature response of midlatitude mesopause region to the 2009 Sudden Stratospheric Warming


Corresponding author: T. Yuan, Center of Atmospheric and Space Sciences, Utah State University, 4405 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322, USA. (


[1] In this paper we report winds and temperature in the mesopause region (80–102 km) over full diurnal cycles during the 2009 major Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW) at Fort Collins (41°N, 105°W). The measurements were made with the Colorado State University (CSU) sodium Doppler wind-temperature lidar. We deduce the diurnal mean wind and temperature profiles by removing the tidal components from the 24-h continuous observations and present their anomalous behaviors in connection with this event. These mean wind and temperature measurements reveal significant anomalies in the mesopause region: the mean temperature at 80 km was approximately 30 K lower than the climatological mean; the mean zonal wind ranged between ∼ −10 to 0 m/s from 80 to 97 km and then turned eastward in lower thermosphere in a reversal of the climatological mean wind profile. We further use observations from the TIMED/SABER satellite observations and simulations from the WACCM model to investigate the global structure of this dynamical anomaly at Fort Collins. The satellite observations and model reveal that the anomaly is part of a disturbance that extended from the polar region to Fort Collins. These simultaneous wind- and temperature-lidar observations document the direct impact of a major SSW on the dynamic and thermal circulation of the midlatitude mesopause region.