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Characteristics of gravity waves observed with intensive radiosonde campaign during November–December 2005 over western Sumatera


Characteristics of gravity waves are studied using radiosonde campaign conducted during November–December 2005 at Koto Tabang (KT, 0.2°S, 100.32°E). Intensive sounding with hourly launches was also conducted on seven days to study the characteristics of short period (2–6 hours) waves along with EAR data. Gravity waves with period (τ) of 3 hours and vertical wavelength (λ z ) of 10 km seemed to be generated due to localized convection around KT, which is inferred from X-band Doppler radar. The energy of the gravity wave with period of 2–3 days and vertical wavelength of 3–5 km is largest between 15 and 20 km and 25 and 30 km. We also report the comparison of the wave activity and its interaction with background wind between the three campaigns (CPEA-I, CPEA-II and Nov. 2002). Most of the time waves are propagating towards east and the source of gravity waves is strongly related to the slowly eastward-advecting tropospheric convection, implying that the wave activity was generated at far distant sources located west of KT. A key finding of this study is neither short period nor long-period gravity waves are generated during stationary type of convection. The change in the propagation direction of the short period waves within the event is observed which is not expected.


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Correspondence to M. Venkat Ratnam.

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Ratnam, M.V., Alexander, S.P., Kozu, T. et al. Characteristics of gravity waves observed with intensive radiosonde campaign during November–December 2005 over western Sumatera. Earth Planet Sp 61, 983–993 (2009).

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  • Gravity Wave
  • Lower Stratosphere
  • Background Wind
  • Tropopause Height
  • Vertical Wavelength