The Computation of Isentropic Atmospheric Trajectories Using a “Discrete Model” Formulation

Ralph A. Petersen Department of Geography, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115

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Louis W. Uccellini Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706

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Abstract

An explicit technique for computing atmospheric trajectories, based on Greenspan's discrete model formulation, is presented as an alternative to the commonly used implicit scheme. The method provides an economical means of objectively obtaining computer-generated trajectories and accounts for the variable accelerations and local ψtendencies along the entire trajectory path. The initial results presented show that the explicit computations are stable and very nearly energy-conservative. An application of the discrete model approach to a real data base and comparisons with trajectories determined by the implicit method yield favorable results, illustrating the utility of the explicit technique as a diagnostic tool.

Abstract

An explicit technique for computing atmospheric trajectories, based on Greenspan's discrete model formulation, is presented as an alternative to the commonly used implicit scheme. The method provides an economical means of objectively obtaining computer-generated trajectories and accounts for the variable accelerations and local ψtendencies along the entire trajectory path. The initial results presented show that the explicit computations are stable and very nearly energy-conservative. An application of the discrete model approach to a real data base and comparisons with trajectories determined by the implicit method yield favorable results, illustrating the utility of the explicit technique as a diagnostic tool.

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