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Upper mesosphere and lower thermospheric wind response to a severe storm in the equatorial latitudes

W. T. Sivla and Z. Mtumela

Wind variation in the equatorial latitudes during the October 2003 severe storms has been investigated in the equatorial latitudes using data from the TIMED Doppler Interferometer (TIMED). Zonal winds are observed to be generally eastwards during storm and non-storm nighttime and daytime local time sectors. Daytime and nighttime local time sector meridional winds are generally equatorward during the storm days. The winds did not show changes that can be attributed to high geomagnetic activity levels. Winds in the MLT region are strongly influenced by Tides and planetary waves from below. These can overshadow influences from strong geomagnetic activity in the equatorial and low latitudes. TIMED Satellite provides a near global picture of the MLT region but has limited local time sampling and so to obtain variability of MLT data on short (days) time scales, multiple platforms in different orbits would be needed for a complete satellite analysis.