Wave-mean flow interaction during the life cycles of baroclinic waves

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Abstract

A two-layer quasigeostrophic β-plane channel model is used to examine the role of the wave-mean flow interaction during the life cycles of baroclinic waves. Two cases are examined: a wide and a narrow jet limit. Several differences between the properties of the two jet limits are found. For the wide jet limit, the acceleration at the center of the jet is confined to the growth stage. This constrasts the narrow jet limit where the jet is accelerated throughout the entire life cycle. These differences depend upon the lower-layer potential vorticity fluxes, which exhibit the same timing properties as the zonal-wind tendency. In addition, for both the wide and narrow jet limits, irreversible potential vorticity mixing is shown to force nonlocal and local permanent changes to the zonal wind, respectively. It is shown that in the wide (narrow) jet limit, the vorticity (potential vorticity) flux does better at predicting the zonal-wind tendency. It is also argued that one can use a barotropic model to study the temporal evolution of the upper-layer flow for both the narrow and wide jet limits. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1893-1902
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume49
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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