Observations and simulations of midlatitude ionospheric and thermospheric response to the January 2013 stratospheric sudden warming event

Qian Wu, A. Maute, V. Yudin, L. Goncharenko, J. Noto, R. Kerr, Christoph Jacobi

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Using observations from midlatitudes, we examine the ionospheric and thermospheric responses to the 2013 stratospheric sudden warming event by comparing data with four simulations performed by the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model eXtended (WACCM-X), Thermosphere-Ionosphere Mesosphere Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIMEGCM), and Thermosphere-Ionosphere Electrodynamics General Circulation Model (TIEGCM). The WACCM-X simulation was nudged by the GEOS-5 data. The two TIMEGCM simulations were nudged by the Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications data and by the aforementioned WACCM-X outputs, respectively. The standard TIEGCM simulation was also performed. These four simulations were compared with Millstone Hill (42.6°N, 71.4°W) incoherent scatter radar data, Millstone Hill and Boulder (40.1°N, 105.2°W) upper and lower thermospheric wind data. The meteor radar data from Collm (51.3°N, 13°E) were also used to examine the zonal wave number of the semidiurnal tide (SD). We evaluate the model simulations of the mesospheric and thermospheric responses to the 2013 SSW. The TIMEGCM simulation nudged with the WACCM-X output has suitable stratospheric input and ionospheric dynamics and can reproduce a sharp rise of hmf2 on January 12 observed by the Millstone Hill radar. The comparison of different models with the lower thermospheric SD tide yielded mixed results. The SD tide maintained mostly as a migrating tide for most of the time and matched the TIEGCM simulation very well. The WACCM-X appeared to perform better when the observed SD tide displays the large phase shift. It also has larger and more variable SD tide amplitude. The two TIMEGCM simulations have smaller SD amplitudes in general. Observations showed complex SD tide patterns after 20 January, which was difficult to characterize as a migrating tidal mode.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8995-9011
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


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