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David D. Houghton, David P. Baumhefner, and Warren M. Washington


The problem of obtaining initial values for vertical motion and the divergent component of horizontal velocity is examined for a global primitive equation model. Only diagnostic methods are considered, the emphasis being on uniform application over the globe rather than a high degree of accuracy. Results show that a very simple diagnostic equation similar in form to the omega equation provides for realistic values of vertical motion in high and middle latitudes and smooth variations across tropical latitudes. In terms of prediction accuracy, no improvement is noted by using the computed initial vertical motions instead of zero for the initial vertical motions in a six-layer, 5° mesh model. In both cases unrealistic oscillations occur during the first 12 hr.

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