THE STABILITY PROPERTIES AND STRUCTURE OF DISTURBANCES IN A BAROCLINIC ATMOSPHERE

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  • 1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Abstract

The stability properties and the vertical variations of the amplitudes and phase angles of disturbances in a baroclinic zonal current are discussed, by use of approximate solutions. It is found that, when friction is neglected, the waves shorter than a critical wavelength Lc, are all unstable, and there exists a most unstable wave with wavelength Lk. Both Lc, and Lk depend upon the vertical wind shear and the static-stability factor. The results also show that the very long waves are essentially upper-level phenomena, while the very short waves are limited to the lower part of the atmosphere, and their amplitudes decrease rapidly with height.

Abstract

The stability properties and the vertical variations of the amplitudes and phase angles of disturbances in a baroclinic zonal current are discussed, by use of approximate solutions. It is found that, when friction is neglected, the waves shorter than a critical wavelength Lc, are all unstable, and there exists a most unstable wave with wavelength Lk. Both Lc, and Lk depend upon the vertical wind shear and the static-stability factor. The results also show that the very long waves are essentially upper-level phenomena, while the very short waves are limited to the lower part of the atmosphere, and their amplitudes decrease rapidly with height.

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