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AN ANALYSIS OF KINEMATIC VERTICAL MOTIONS

PHILLIP J. SMITHDepartment of Geosciences, Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind.

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Abstract

Several techniques exist for computing vertical motions. In this paper, radiosonde wind observations are used to compute vertical motions by the kinematic method. The presence of cumulative bias errors necessitates adjustment techniques. Simple tests of two techniques indicate that, for the period of this study, a divergence adjustment that is a function of pressure yields the best adjusted vertical motion fields. Further analysis shows that the adjusted estimates correlate well with observed synoptic features. Finally, comparison with estimates by the numerical method indicates that adjusted kinematic vertical motion fields are comparable.

Abstract

Several techniques exist for computing vertical motions. In this paper, radiosonde wind observations are used to compute vertical motions by the kinematic method. The presence of cumulative bias errors necessitates adjustment techniques. Simple tests of two techniques indicate that, for the period of this study, a divergence adjustment that is a function of pressure yields the best adjusted vertical motion fields. Further analysis shows that the adjusted estimates correlate well with observed synoptic features. Finally, comparison with estimates by the numerical method indicates that adjusted kinematic vertical motion fields are comparable.

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