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VARIATIONS IN THE HIGH TROPOSPHERIC MEAN FLOW OVER AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

Uwe RadokUniversity of Melbourne

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Alison M. GrantUniversity of Melbourne

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Abstract

As first step in an investigation of changes in the high-level circulation of the southern hemisphere, more than 18,000 radiosonde flights have been used to construct a three-year series of monthly mean cross-sections for the eastern Australian sector and to draw, with their help, monthly mean 200-millibar charts for the entire region of Australia and New Zealand, by methods suited to its sparse upper-air station network. For eleven of the 36 months, the cross sections could be extended as far as the Antarctic coast to show details of a high-latitude jet stream. The 200-mb charts reveal distinct deviations from zonal flow, but only a few of these seem clearly linked to certain seasons or regions. Transitions from summer to winter flow-patterns occurred as a rule abruptly, and on several occasions coincided with the opposite transition in the zonal mean flow of the northern hemisphere.

Abstract

As first step in an investigation of changes in the high-level circulation of the southern hemisphere, more than 18,000 radiosonde flights have been used to construct a three-year series of monthly mean cross-sections for the eastern Australian sector and to draw, with their help, monthly mean 200-millibar charts for the entire region of Australia and New Zealand, by methods suited to its sparse upper-air station network. For eleven of the 36 months, the cross sections could be extended as far as the Antarctic coast to show details of a high-latitude jet stream. The 200-mb charts reveal distinct deviations from zonal flow, but only a few of these seem clearly linked to certain seasons or regions. Transitions from summer to winter flow-patterns occurred as a rule abruptly, and on several occasions coincided with the opposite transition in the zonal mean flow of the northern hemisphere.

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