Structure of the migrating diurnal tide in the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM)

Loren Chang, Scott Palo, Maura Hagan, Jadwiga Richter, Rolando Garcia, Dennis Riggin, David Fritts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


As part of an ongoing effort to understand the migrating diurnal tide generated by the NCAR Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model, version 3 (WACCM3), we compare the WACCM3 migrating diurnal tide in the horizontal wind and temperature fields to similar results from the Global Scale Wave Model (GSWM). The WACCM3 diurnal tidal wind fields are also compared to tropical radar measurements at Kauai (22°N, 200.2°E) and Rarotonga (21.3°S, 199.7°E). The large-scale features of the WACCM3 results, such as the global spatial structure and the semiannual amplitude variation are in general agreement with past tidal studies; however, several differences do exist. WACCM3 exhibits a much higher degree of hemispheric asymmetry, lower overall amplitudes around the equinoxes, and peaks which are more confined in latitude when compared with the GSWM. Factors which may contribute to such differences between WACCM3 and GSWM are the solar heating profiles from ozone and water vapor, dissipation, and the zonal mean zonal winds. We find that the internally generated heating in WACCM3 and eddy dissipation values are both smaller than the values specified in the GSWM; the eddy dissipation fields and zonal mean zonal winds of the two models also display measurable differences in spatial structure. Comparisons with radar data show several differences in spatial and seasonal structure. In particular, the diurnal tide zonal winds in WACCM3 above Kauai are considerably larger in amplitude than those observed in the radar data, due to contributions from nonmigrating tidal components including wave numbers eastward 1 through 3, westward 2, and stationary components, which interfere constructively with the migrating component around equinox in WACCM3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1398-1407
Number of pages10
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2008


  • Atmospheric tides
  • Mesosphere and lower thermosphere


Dive into the research topics of 'Structure of the migrating diurnal tide in the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model (WACCM)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this