Computation of the Wind by Forced Adjustment to the Height Field

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  • 1 Dept. of Meteorology, University of California, Los Angeles
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Abstract

The problem of the forced adjustment of the wind field to the height field is experimentally studied with the Mintz-Arakawa two-level atmospheric general circulation model.

In all but one of the experiments, the height field was assumed to be perfectly observed at 6-hr intervals, over a time period of one day or less, and from this height data the vector wind field was computed by forced dynamical adjustment. In one experiment, the temperature alone was prescribed. The winds computed in these experiments were compared with the “control” winds of the general circulation simulation.

The best agreement between the computed and the control winds was obtained when the time-differencing scheme in the governing finite-difference equations of motion had a large rate of damping of high-frequency motions. This damping rate also determined the optimum fraction and frequency of restoration of the height (or temperature) fields. With strong damping, total restoration every time step gave the most rapid rate of wind error reduction and the smallest asymptotic limit of the wind error.

The information content of the height field and its time derivatives was analysed. The first time derivative of the height field was of much greater importance than the next higher time derivatives. In middle latitudes, where the time variation of the height field was large, the first time derivative reduced the computed wind error to about half of the error when using no time derivative. When the information is limited to 24 hr or less, the total height field information (surface pressure as well as temperature) produced a much smaller wind error than temperature information alone.

With the first time derivative of the height field, the asymptotic limit of the computed wind error was about 1–1.5 m sec−1 in middle latitudes and about 2.5 m sec−1 in the tropics.

Abstract

The problem of the forced adjustment of the wind field to the height field is experimentally studied with the Mintz-Arakawa two-level atmospheric general circulation model.

In all but one of the experiments, the height field was assumed to be perfectly observed at 6-hr intervals, over a time period of one day or less, and from this height data the vector wind field was computed by forced dynamical adjustment. In one experiment, the temperature alone was prescribed. The winds computed in these experiments were compared with the “control” winds of the general circulation simulation.

The best agreement between the computed and the control winds was obtained when the time-differencing scheme in the governing finite-difference equations of motion had a large rate of damping of high-frequency motions. This damping rate also determined the optimum fraction and frequency of restoration of the height (or temperature) fields. With strong damping, total restoration every time step gave the most rapid rate of wind error reduction and the smallest asymptotic limit of the wind error.

The information content of the height field and its time derivatives was analysed. The first time derivative of the height field was of much greater importance than the next higher time derivatives. In middle latitudes, where the time variation of the height field was large, the first time derivative reduced the computed wind error to about half of the error when using no time derivative. When the information is limited to 24 hr or less, the total height field information (surface pressure as well as temperature) produced a much smaller wind error than temperature information alone.

With the first time derivative of the height field, the asymptotic limit of the computed wind error was about 1–1.5 m sec−1 in middle latitudes and about 2.5 m sec−1 in the tropics.

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