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Leon I. Zimmerman


The von Kármán theory of vortex trails and the concept of vorticity diffusion are applied to atmospheric vortex trails generated by Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura Islands of the Canary Island group, and a pair of vortices from Madeira Island. This is done in order to calculate effective eddy viscosities, ages, radii, maximum tangential velocities, and kinetic energy dissipation rates of the vortices. As an example, the effective eddy viscosity for the Madeira Island vortex pair is 2 × 107 cm2 sec−1. One of the vortex pair has an age of 12 × 104 sec (34 hr), a, vortex maximum tangential velocity of 3 m sec−1 occurring at a radius of 36 km, and its rate of kinetic energy dissipation is 0.2 erg gm−1 sec−1. Observed vortex growth rates appear to agree with theory. The results of the study are consistent with previous studies and hypotheses relating to atmospheric mesoscale eddy patterns.

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