A Statistical Study of Mid-Latitude Ionospheric Disturbances Coincident with Large Tropospheric Storms

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2427 Ionosphere/Atmosphere Interactions (0335), 2435 Ionospheric Disturbances, 2439 Ionospheric Irregularities, 2443 Midlatitude Ionosphere

Scientific paper

Interest in coupling between atmospheric regions continues to increase. Gravity waves generated in the troposphere are often cited as a coupling mechanism between the low and upper altitude regions. However, few studies demonstrating coupling between the troposphere and thermosphere/ionosphere exist. Intense, localized storms, such as hurricanes and tropical storms, should provide an ideal opportunity to examine thermospheric/ionospheric coupling. In order to ascertain the source of any ionospheric variations observed coincident to a tropical storm, a number of instruments have been utilized: ionosondes, incoherent scatter radars, and satellite-borne GPS receivers. Since 1968, 220 hurricanes/tropical storms have passed within 500 km of an operational ionosonde or incoherent scatter radar. Statistics covering the last 10 years are presented. Although many of the ionospheric disturbances are likely the result of geomagnetic coupling processes, there exist a significant number of disturbances that occur following the passage of tropospheric storms. Possible explanations for tropospheric/ionospheric coupling are also presented.

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