An Analytical Study of Tropospheric Structure as Seen by High-Resolution Radar

E. E. Gossard Naval Electronics Laboratory Center, San Diego, Calif.

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D. R. Jensen Naval Electronics Laboratory Center, San Diego, Calif.

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S. H. Richter Naval Electronics Laboratory Center, San Diego, Calif.

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Abstract

In the present paper, atmospheric structure revealed by a high-resolution FM/CW radar sounder is compared with hypothetical models of internal wave structure and convection. Special attention is given to the distribution of Richardson's number in trapped and untrapped gravity waves. It is concluded that the multiple layers result from untrapped internal gravity waves, whose propagation vector is directed newly vertically, within very stable height regions. In contrast to the convective instability proposed by Orlanski and Bryan, it is concluded that the layers are caused by Kelvin-Helmholtz instability resulting from the reduction in the Richardson's number due to growth of the amplitude-to-wavelength ratio as the waves propagate into thermally stable height regions of the atmosphere.

Abstract

In the present paper, atmospheric structure revealed by a high-resolution FM/CW radar sounder is compared with hypothetical models of internal wave structure and convection. Special attention is given to the distribution of Richardson's number in trapped and untrapped gravity waves. It is concluded that the multiple layers result from untrapped internal gravity waves, whose propagation vector is directed newly vertically, within very stable height regions. In contrast to the convective instability proposed by Orlanski and Bryan, it is concluded that the layers are caused by Kelvin-Helmholtz instability resulting from the reduction in the Richardson's number due to growth of the amplitude-to-wavelength ratio as the waves propagate into thermally stable height regions of the atmosphere.

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