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James R. Holton
William M. Wehrbein


The influence on the stratospheric mean circulation of planetary wavenumber 2 disturbances excited by steady forcing at the 100 mb level is investigated using a global semi-spectral primitive equation model. There exists a critical forcing amplitude below which the waves have little effect on the mean flow, while above which the waves produce subseasonal time scale vacillations in the winter hemisphere, including both major and minor warmings. Wave transience induced by the evolving mean flow distribution is responsible for generating the vacillations, while thermal damping serves to reduce the wave-driven changes in the mean flow.

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