Possible Effect of Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability on VHF Radar Observations of the Mean Vertical Wind

View More View Less
  • 1 Institut für Meteorologie und Klimatologie der Universität Hannover, Hannover, Germany
© Get Permissions Rent on DeepDyve
Restricted access

Abstract

Mean vertical velocities are of great interest in meteorology and vertically directed VHF radar have been used to measure directly. Recently it has been pointed out that in a gravity wave with upward energy propagation the radar reflectivity and the vertical velocity are negatively correlated, giving rise to a downward bias for the observed . In the present paper, it is shown that in regions of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI) the correlation between refractivity-surface tilting angles and the (apparent) vertical velocity observed with a vertically pointing VHF radar can lead to a bias with magnitudes of several tens of centimeters per second. This “KHI bias” is upward in the shear zone above the horizontal wind speed maximum of a jet stream and downward below. Theoretical vertical profiles of the predicted KHI bias exhibit considerable similarity with profiles observed during jet stream events by other authors, suggesting that a major part of the observed might be attributable to the presumed KHI bias.

Abstract

Mean vertical velocities are of great interest in meteorology and vertically directed VHF radar have been used to measure directly. Recently it has been pointed out that in a gravity wave with upward energy propagation the radar reflectivity and the vertical velocity are negatively correlated, giving rise to a downward bias for the observed . In the present paper, it is shown that in regions of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI) the correlation between refractivity-surface tilting angles and the (apparent) vertical velocity observed with a vertically pointing VHF radar can lead to a bias with magnitudes of several tens of centimeters per second. This “KHI bias” is upward in the shear zone above the horizontal wind speed maximum of a jet stream and downward below. Theoretical vertical profiles of the predicted KHI bias exhibit considerable similarity with profiles observed during jet stream events by other authors, suggesting that a major part of the observed might be attributable to the presumed KHI bias.

Save