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David D. Houghton

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David D. Houghton

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A quasi-Lagrangian formulation for an inviscid barotropic fluid is presented and shown to afford a convenient basis for analysis of certain ageostrophic jet flows. Material fines serve as the references to delineate the north-south variations in the fluid, and Eulerian representation is used in the east west direction. Several desirable features are shown for the use of material lines in this manner. First, by orienting the lines approximately parallel to the jet axis, flows with finite horizontal curvature may be represented simply. This is illustrated by a development with east-west variations represented by only two harmonies and a mean. The solution of this semi-spectra model agrees closely with a non-spectral numerical solution for over three days. Second, the Lagrangian movement of the material lines gives an indication of non-linear adjustment motions and demonstrates a mixing in the fluid.

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David D. Houghton

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An incompressible, stratified, hydrostatic, inviscid fluid model is used to demonstrate non-linear effects in the interaction of finite amplitude gravity waves. A statically stable density stratification is approximated by the superposition of ten homogeneous fluid layers with a very deep layer on top. Computations are made using a two-step Lax-Wendroff finite difference system. The solutions reveal intrawave distortions comparable to those predicted by analytical studies of one- and two-layer fluid models. During the interaction of two waves, the solutions show overall changes in wave speed which are of the same magnitude as the variations in wave speed that cause the intrawave distortions. These changes are related differently to the horizontal fluid velocities in the waves.

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David D. Houghton

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Calculations are made with the NCAR six-layer general circulation model to determine the time evolution of errors initially confined to a region 4000 km in diameter superimposed upon real global data. Three experiments are made to distinguish between the effects of an error located initially on the northern or southern sides of the jet stream or in the tropical area. Results show that the largest error centers generally evolve in the jet stream; however, the propagation rate is much less than advection effects would suggest. Coverage of the Northern Hemisphere is accomplished as much by propagation across the north pole and via the tropical belt as it is via the jet stream. It is not complete even after seven days. As a whole the tropics are more sensitive than the middle latitudes to initial errors. Cross-equatorial effects are most pronounced at and just east of the initial longitude of the error.

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David D. Houghton
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David D. Houghton
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David D. Houghton
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David D. Houghton
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David D. Houghton
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Robert M. Chervin

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Vertically-averaged meridional transports of westerly momentum are analyzed in sampled ensembles of January simulations of an NCAR GCM and an equivalent ensemble of five years of observational January data according to a simple time-domain decomposition. Ensemble averages and standard deviations are compared in terms of both zonally-averaged and grid-point presentations for the steady and transient flux components highlighting the relative characteristics of the fundamental time-domain elements. Results from 5 and 2.5° horizontal resolution versions of the model demonstrate the impact of truncation error on model simulations of these flux statistics.

Comparing grid point measures constitutes a more stringent model performance evaluation since regional differences between observed and simulated transports often are found to he considerably larger than zonally-averaged differences. Such regional considerations also reveal substantial differences between model and observations in the location and orientation of transport maxima and minima. Typically the transient flux component is smaller in the model simulations than in the observations although there are some regional exceptions. The steady flux component, however, is generally larger in the model simulations (particularly the 2.5° version) than in the observations and is affected more than the transient component by resolution changes. Analysis of the estimated standard deviations of the flux components shows that the model's inherent variability is typically at least a factor of two lower than the observed interannual variability with substantial regional differences.

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Walter L. Jones
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David D. Houghton

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A numerical model of internal gravity waves allows momentum transport by the waves to interact with the mean flow. Momentum deposited at a critical level develops a “shelf” in the mean flow. Mean flow acceleration Doppler-shifts the wave frequency, allowing more penetration of wave energy than expected from linear theory.

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