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Azimuthally Averaged Transport and Budget Equations for Storms: Quasi-Lagrangian Diagnostics

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisc. 53706
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Abstract

The azimuthally averaged transport and budget equations for a translating storm volume are derived in generalized coordinates. The mean and eddy lateral modes of transport by rotational and irrotational motion are contrasted in symmetric and asymmetric vortices. By contrasting the transport relations in isobaric, cartesian, and isentropic coordinates, the results establish that hydrostatic-rotational regimes of atmospheric motion are typified by eddy modes of transport in isobaric and cartesian coordinates, while both mean and eddy modes may be present in isentropic coordinates. This requirement for a “handover” from an eddy mode of transport in the hydrostatic-rotational environment of a vortex to a mean mode of transport via irrotational motion within a vortex is discussed.

Evidence for the existence of mean meridional circulation in isentropic coordinates for the Midwest extratropical cyclone of 22–24 April 1968 is presented. The inward mass transport in the lower troposphere and outward mass transport in the upper troposphere are coupled to vertical mass transport through isentropic surfaces associated with the release of latent heat in the middle troposphere.

Abstract

The azimuthally averaged transport and budget equations for a translating storm volume are derived in generalized coordinates. The mean and eddy lateral modes of transport by rotational and irrotational motion are contrasted in symmetric and asymmetric vortices. By contrasting the transport relations in isobaric, cartesian, and isentropic coordinates, the results establish that hydrostatic-rotational regimes of atmospheric motion are typified by eddy modes of transport in isobaric and cartesian coordinates, while both mean and eddy modes may be present in isentropic coordinates. This requirement for a “handover” from an eddy mode of transport in the hydrostatic-rotational environment of a vortex to a mean mode of transport via irrotational motion within a vortex is discussed.

Evidence for the existence of mean meridional circulation in isentropic coordinates for the Midwest extratropical cyclone of 22–24 April 1968 is presented. The inward mass transport in the lower troposphere and outward mass transport in the upper troposphere are coupled to vertical mass transport through isentropic surfaces associated with the release of latent heat in the middle troposphere.

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