Jupiter's Zonal Winds: Variation with Latitude

Clark R. Chapman Dept. of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

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Abstract

Visual data on Jovian spot motions for 1897–1966 are assembled to show the variation of zonal velocity with Jovian latitude. The Northern and Southern Hemispheres show asymmetric zonal motions away from the equatorial jet. The mean velocities change appreciably over the years and transient anomalous velocities occur in subtropical latitudes. There is evidence for anticylconic shear to be correlated with bright zones and cyclonic shear with dark belts, but the correlation is imperfect. Certain zonal currents are very stable in latitude, despite shifts in latitude of the visible belts; other currents may be tied to the belts. No physical interpretation of these observations is attempted.

Abstract

Visual data on Jovian spot motions for 1897–1966 are assembled to show the variation of zonal velocity with Jovian latitude. The Northern and Southern Hemispheres show asymmetric zonal motions away from the equatorial jet. The mean velocities change appreciably over the years and transient anomalous velocities occur in subtropical latitudes. There is evidence for anticylconic shear to be correlated with bright zones and cyclonic shear with dark belts, but the correlation is imperfect. Certain zonal currents are very stable in latitude, despite shifts in latitude of the visible belts; other currents may be tied to the belts. No physical interpretation of these observations is attempted.

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