A Multiple Structured Frontal Zone-Jet Stream System as Revealed by Meteorologically Instrumented Aircraft

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo. 80303
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Abstract

The distribution of wind, temperature, ozone, and turbulence within a multiple structured frontal zone-jet stream system is described using a combination of direct horizontal measurements by meteorologically-instrumented research aircraft and conventional aerological soundings. Results document the spatial continuity of these zones and associated intrusions of ozone-rich stratospheric air. Aircraft turbulence measurements show the zones with strong vertical wind shear and near-critical values of Richardson number are preferred regions of CAT encounter. Diagnostic calculations of the terms of the gradient thermal wind equation illustrate the importance of the sign and magnitude of the air trajectory curvature and its vertical derivative in maintaining regions of strong vertical wind shear and small Richardson number in the presence of weak horizontal thermal gradient.

Abstract

The distribution of wind, temperature, ozone, and turbulence within a multiple structured frontal zone-jet stream system is described using a combination of direct horizontal measurements by meteorologically-instrumented research aircraft and conventional aerological soundings. Results document the spatial continuity of these zones and associated intrusions of ozone-rich stratospheric air. Aircraft turbulence measurements show the zones with strong vertical wind shear and near-critical values of Richardson number are preferred regions of CAT encounter. Diagnostic calculations of the terms of the gradient thermal wind equation illustrate the importance of the sign and magnitude of the air trajectory curvature and its vertical derivative in maintaining regions of strong vertical wind shear and small Richardson number in the presence of weak horizontal thermal gradient.

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