A simulation of atmospheric storm tracks with a forced barotropic model

Sukyoung Lee, Jeffrey L. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A forced, nonlinear barotropic model on the sphere is shown to simulate some of the structure of the observed Northern Hemisphere midlatitude storm tracks with reasonable accuracy. For the parameter range chosen, the model has no unstable modes with significant amplitude in the storm track regions; however, several decaying modes with structures similar to the storm track are discovered. The model's midlatitude storm tracks also coincide with the location of a waveguide that is obtained by assuming that the horizontal variation of the time-mean flow is small compared with the scale of the transient eddies. Since the model is able to mimic the behavior of the observed storm tracks without any baroclinic dynamics, it is argued that the barotropic waveguide effects of the time-mean background flow acting on individual eddies are partially responsible for the observed storm track structure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2113-2128
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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