Open Access

Wind observation around the tops of the midlatitude cirrus by the MU radar and Raman/Mie lidar

  • Masayuki K. Yamamoto13Email author,
  • Toyohisa Kishi13,
  • Takuji Nakamura13,
  • Noriyuki Nishi23,
  • Mamoru Yamamoto13,
  • Hiroyuki Hashiguchi13 and
  • Shoichiro Fukao13, 33
Earth, Planets and Space200961:BF03353190

Received: 27 August 2008

Accepted: 18 July 2009

Published: 7 August 2009


Using a 46.5-MHz atmospheric radar referred to as the MU radar (MUR) and a Raman/Mie lidar installed at the Shigaraki (34°51′N, 136°06′E), continuous wind motions around the tops of the midlatitude cirrus are described for the first time. The cloud system extended from the northeast to southwest (35°N-50°N) along the eastward-moving trough and passed over Shigaraki in the nighttime between 5–6 November 2004. Cloud-top altitude observed by the lidar was located at 10.6 km around 1900 LST 5 November, then gradually descended to 8.4 km around 0500 LST 6 November. The westerly wind observed by MUR with 12-min and 150-m resolutions showed a rapid increase with altitude around the cloud tops and was almost always larger than 25 m s−1 above 1 km higher than the cloud tops. Objective reanalysis showed that a subtropical jet whose core existed to the south of Shigaraki caused a synoptic-scale vertical increase in the westerly wind around the cloud tops. Radiosondes observed a significant vertical increase of potential temperature (greater than 4 K within several hundred meters) around the cloud tops. MUR successfully observed fine time and altitude variations of winds which showed a good correspondence with the descending cloud tops.

Key words