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Peter R. Bannon

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Peter R. Bannon

Abstract

A barotropic, primitive equation model on an equatorial beta plane is used to investigate the transient behavior of the East African jet. Both analytic and numerical solutions provide insight into the jet response to a diurnal fluctuation in the friction coefficient over land and to temporal variations in the upstream (eastward) and southern boundary forcings.

Results indicate that the diurnal variation in the strength of the surface drag over land can account for the observed increase in the speed and westward shift of the jet core during the night. The observed large variations in the meridional wind just offshore and in the zonal wind field are not explained by the theory.

In contrast to the diurnal variations in the finestructure of the jet, time-dependent variations in the upstream and southern boundary forcings can produce changes in the large-scale features of the jet. For either type of transient perturbation, the change in the jet speed can be significant and may explain the observed jet surges. In the case of southern. boundary forcing, this result demonstrates that eastward propagating, middle-latitude disturbances can have a significant effect on the flow at the equator in the presence of an impermeable western boundary.

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Peter R. Bannon

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The equations describing the dynamics and thermodynamics of cloudy air are derived using the theories of multicomponent fluids and multiphase flows. The formulation is completely general and allows the hydrometeors to have temperatures and velocities that differ from those of the dry air and water vapor. The equations conserve mass, momentum, and total thermodynamic energy. They form a complete set once terms describing the radiative processes and the microphysical processes of condensation, sublimation, and freezing are provided.

An equation for the total entropy documents the entropy sources for multitemperature flows that include the exchange of mass, momentum, and energy between the hydrometeors and the moist air. It is shown, for example, that the evaporation of raindrops in unsaturated air need not produce an increase in entropy when the drops are cooler than the air.

An expression for the potential vorticity in terms of the density of the moist air and the virtual potential temperature is shown to be the correct extension of Ertel's potential vorticity to moist flows. This virtual potential vorticity, along with the density field of the hydrometeors, can be inverted to obtain the other flow variables for a balanced flow.

In their most general form the equations include prognostic equations for the hydrometeors' temperature and velocity. Diagnostic equations for these fields are shown to be valid provided the diffusive timescales of heat and momentum are small compared to the dynamic timescales of interest. As a consequence of this approximation, the forces and heating acting on the hydrometeors are added to those acting on the moist air. Then the momentum equation for the moist air contains a drag force proportional to the weight of the hydrometeors, a hydrometeor loading. Similarly, the thermal energy equation for the moist air contains the heating of the hydrometeors. This additional heating of the moist air implies a diabatic loading for which the heating of the hydrometeors is realized by the moist air.

The validity of the diagnostic equations fails for large raindrops, hail, and graupel. In these cases the thermal diffusive timescales of the hydrometeors can be several minutes, and prognostic rather than diagnostic equations for their temperatures must be solved. However, their diagnostic momentum equations remain valid.

Anelastic and Boussinesq versions of the equations are also described.

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Peter R. Bannon

Abstract

The total potential energy of the atmosphere is the sum of its internal and gravitational energies. The portion of this total energy available to be converted into kinetic energy is determined relative to an isothermal, hydrostatic, equilibrium atmosphere that is convectively and dynamically “dead.” The temperature of this equilibrium state is determined by minimization of a generalized Gibbs function defined between the atmosphere and its equilibrium. Thus, this function represents the maximum amount of total energy that can be converted into kinetic energy and, hence, the available energy of the atmosphere. This general approach includes the effects of terrain, moisture, and hydrometeors. Applications are presented for both individual soundings and idealized baroclinic zones. An algorithm partitions the available energy into available baroclinic and available convective energies. Estimates of the available energetics of the general circulation suggest that atmospheric motions are primarily driven by moist and dry fluxes of exergy from the earth’s surface with an efficiency of about two-thirds.

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Peter R. Bannon

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The East African jet, also popularly called the Somali jet, is viewed as a western boundary current of the East African highlands. Inertial and Coriolis forces. bottom friction and orography are believed important in the jet dynamics. A barotropic, primitive equation model on an equatorial beta plane is used to test this hypothesis. The flow is driven by a mass source term representing the subsidence in the southern branch of the monsoon Hadley cell.

Steady, zonally symmetric solutions indicate that the combination of inertial forces, surface friction and weak subsidence can provide an adequate description of the southeast trades over the South Indian Ocean. It is deduced that, in order for the easterly flow to change into westerlies south of the equator, convergence of the flow must occur at the transition latitude, and the meridional mass flux must vanish.

A two-dimensional numerical model successfully simulates most of the major large-scale features of the climatological low-level flow over the South Indian Ocean and cast coast of Africa during the northern summer. It is shown that while the broad outer flank of the jet is inertially controlled, with bottom friction playing a secondary role, the narrow inner flank is the result of orographically enhanced bottom friction. The mountain backbone of Madagascar is demonstrated to be essential to the development of a relative wind speed maximum at the northern tip of the island and of an upstream ridge-downstream trough pressure distribution over the island.

The sensitivity of the model jet to variations in the upstream forcing and in the friction parameterization is also examined.

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Peter R. Bannon

Abstract

A Hamiltonian formulation for the dynamics and thermodynamics of a compressible, rotating, binary fluid subject to gravity is developed. Here, binary refers to the presence of two components of the fluid, such as solids dissolved in a liquid or gaseous and liquid water existing along with dry air. These fluids are idealized in that the influences of diffusion processes are ignored and the binary flow is restricted to a single velocity.

The equations are presented in generic form applicable to an arbitrary binary geophysical flow. The relevant Poisson bracket satisfies Jacobi's identity. Three distinct Casimir invariants are described. The first reflects the conservation of entropy and concentration of the minor component. The second is a consequence of the conservation of the absolute circulation on curves formed by the intersection of surfaces of constant entropy with surfaces of constant concentration. The third is a generic potential vorticity of the form (ω  ·  ∇λ)/ρ. Here, ω is the absolute vorticity, ρ is the total density of the fluid, and λ is any thermodynamic variable. For example, λ can be the pressure, density, temperature, or mixing ratio as well as the more common choice of potential temperature.

Available energy of the system is defined locally in the finite-amplitude as well as in the small-amplitude limit. Both definitions are partitioned into available potential and available elastic energies.

A linear stability analysis indicates that the fluid is statically stable provided the square of the sound speed is positive, the total density decreases with height, and the square of a suitably defined buoyancy frequency is positive.

The formulation is applicable to a salty ocean and to a moist atmosphere. For the atmosphere, the full theory holds in the presence of either liquid water or ice in equilibrium with its vapor.

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Peter R. Bannon

Abstract

The problem of quasi-geostrophic frontogenesis due to a horizontal deformation field is re-examined. Exact analytic solutions of all flow fields for all times are found for the case of a vertically semi-infinite, uniformly stratified, Boussinesq atmosphere. The imposed horizontal deformation field is assumed independent of height but may translate horizontally relative to the initial potential temperature distribution and to the variable bottom topography. Only straight, infinitely long fronts and ridge-like topographies are considered. The solutions in the absence of orography confirm and extend earlier investigations for surface and occluded fronts.

It is shown that the presence of monotonically sloping topography below a region of deformation leads to the formation of a surface discontinuity in potential temperature in the absence of an initial horizontal thermal gradient. The associated secondary circulation is the sum of a closed thermally direct and indirect component.

The analysis for a translating deformation field interacting with an isolated orographic feature yields many interesting features. A cyclone-anticyclone couplet initially forms over the high ground. The cyclonic low pressure disturbance of reduced static stability can descend the leeside of the mountain before the arrival of the deformation field. The cold anticyclone remains fixed over the orography. A surface front translating with the imposed deformation field experiences a reduction in static stability before and after its passage over the mountain. An increase in static stability occurs while the front is over the mountain. The horizontal temperature gradient of a cold front is temporarily weakened as it approaches the mountain and strengthened after climbing the mountain peak. The ageostrophic vertical deformation field associated with the mountain acts to retard and weaken a surface cold front and to tilt its frontal zone (i.e., axis of maximum horizontal potential temperature gradient) toward the vertical on the upslope side of the mountain. The converse holds on the downslope. The subsequent interaction of a surface cold front with the leeside orographic cyclone leads to an increase in the low-level baroclinicity.

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Peter R. Bannon

Abstract

This paper presents the linear solution to the initial value problem for the Eady model of baroclinic instability including condensational heating using a wave–CISK formulation with a uniform heating profile in the vertical. As in the dry case, the continuous spectrum completes the class of free mode solutions but is asymptotically stable. In the moist case, both the dry and the moist normal modes contribute to the solution to the initial value problem.

Analysis of the moist Eady dispersion relation indicates that the heating increases the growth rate and the wavenumber of the most unstable mode and of the short-wave cutoff. For all values of the heating amplitude, the growth rate is bounded, both wavenumbers are finite, and the very short waves are always stable. Shallow clouds, however, increase both wavenumbers more than deep clouds. For sufficiently large values of the heating amplitude, the free modes display unphysical behavior with steering levels either above the rigid-lid tropopause or below the ground. The absence of any free modes when the wind shear vanishes implies that no free, inviscid, quasi-geostrophic, wave–CISK disturbances exist on the f-plane.

The temporal and spatial structure of the most unstable moist Eady wave with shallow convective heating compares favorably to observations of intermediate scale disturbances on the Baiu front.

The Appendix treats the case of condensational heating from large-scale ascent in an atmosphere with a saturated layer.

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Peter R. Bannon

Two corrections are noted in Bannon (2013).

In the second and third sentences of the first paragraph starting on page 2651, the sign of the entropy difference is incorrectly stated. The sentences should read “If the entropy difference is positive , then it is impossible for the system to attain its reference state. If the difference is negative , then the availability is less than the difference in total potential energy .”

The analysis of the World Ocean Atlas 2005 (WOA05) mean ocean assumed that the reference ocean has a uniform

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Peter R. Bannon

Abstract

Barotropic simulations of the East African jet are extended to include the Arabian Sea branch of the flow and to allow for flow over the mountains of Africa. Large-scale mass source-sink forcing, present to the east of the model orography, drives the low-level circulation.

Many features of the southeast trades, cross-equatorial flow and southwest monsoon are simulated. Among them are the separation of the jet from the African highlands, a wind speed maximum over the Arabian Sea and a reinforcement of the southwest monsoon by the Arabian northerlies. Splitting of the jet over the Arabian Sea is not simulated.

Starting from a state of rest, a well-developed southwest monsoon is achieved in a week of simulated time. Inclusion of a prescribed Southern Hemisphere midlatitude disturbance excites a significant response in the cross-equatorial flow, even though flow is permitted over the African mountains. Downstream, the surges excite a response over both the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. The bay response lags that over the sea by one to two days and is a factor of 2 weaker. Despite the satisfaction of the necessary condition for barotropic instability, no signs of instability appear during the onset, surge or steady-state phases of the simulations.

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