Open Access

Observation of low frequency Kelvin waves in the mesosphere

Earth, Planets and Space201451:BF03353222

Received: 4 August 1998

Accepted: 12 February 1999

Published: 26 June 2014


This paper presents evidence for a quasi-stationary Kelvin wave of zonal wavenumber 1 that is forced in situ in the upper mesosphere and propagates upward from there. Although large scale quasi-stationary longitudinal variations are common in the mesopause equatorial winds, these variations often do not have a structure associated with a vertically propagating mode. However, during the periods of easterly winds that occur near the equinoxes in association with the mesopause semi-annual oscillation (MSAO), a Kelvin wave propagates away from the presumed altitude of forcing. The momentum transport by the Kelvin wave is small and does not make a significant contribution to the SAO wind evolution.