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T. N. Krishnamurti
,
Mukul Tewari
,
D. R. Chakraborty
,
Jose Marengo
,
Pedro L. Silva Dias
, and
P. Satyamurty

Abstract

Many frost events over southeastern Brazil are accompanied by a large-amplitude upper trough of the middle latitudes that extends well into the Tropics. This paper first illustrates that a mechanism of downstream amplification across the Pacific into South America is generally accompanied in these situations. This is manifested by troughs and ridges that propagate eastward. An analysis of these situations during frost events shows that these features of downstream amplification, illustrated on a Hovmöller (x–t) plot, can be decomposed into a family of synoptic-scale waves that propagate eastward and a family of planetary-scale waves that acquire a quasi-stationary character during the freeze event. It is shown that a global model, at a resolution of 70 km, can be used to predict these features on the decomposition of scales during freeze events. It became apparent from these features that the growth of the long stationary waves during the freeze events may be due to scale interaction among wave components. This paper discusses the nature of these scale interactions, calculated from the energetics in the wavenumber domain, for periods before, during, and after the freeze events. The salient results are that nonlinear barotropic-scale interactions are an important source for the maintenance of the downstream amplification; however, the baroclinic (in scale) contributions dominate through the life cycle of the downstream amplitude where the large-amplitude troughs are indeed accompanied by baroclinic features. Finally, it is shown that a very high resolution regional spectral model can be used to handle the local aspects of the freeze events. This study offers the possibility for designing prediction experiments on the medium-range timescales for the forecast of these frost events.

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