Energy Spectra of Meso-Scale Turbulence Along and Across the Jet Stream

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, University of Utah
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Abstract

The wind velocities measured by an aircraft flying parallel and perpendicular to jet streams (Project Jet Stream, 1956–1957) have been analyzed; a smoothing technique has been used to separate the meso-scale turbulence from the mean flow. Eulerian auto-correlation coefficients and energy spectra are computed for the longitudinal and transversal components of the horizontal wind velocities. The distributions of the auto-correlation coefficients and the energy spectra appear to be similar for both the longitudinal and transversal components of the velocities, whereas the corrected meso-scale energy spectrum increases with decreasing wave number and is approximately proportional to k−2 in the range between 10−1 cycles km−1.

An analysis is also made of the distribution of the Richardson number in a cross section perpendicular to the jet stream. A good relationship is found between the areas of turbulence and the regions of small Richardson number.

Abstract

The wind velocities measured by an aircraft flying parallel and perpendicular to jet streams (Project Jet Stream, 1956–1957) have been analyzed; a smoothing technique has been used to separate the meso-scale turbulence from the mean flow. Eulerian auto-correlation coefficients and energy spectra are computed for the longitudinal and transversal components of the horizontal wind velocities. The distributions of the auto-correlation coefficients and the energy spectra appear to be similar for both the longitudinal and transversal components of the velocities, whereas the corrected meso-scale energy spectrum increases with decreasing wave number and is approximately proportional to k−2 in the range between 10−1 cycles km−1.

An analysis is also made of the distribution of the Richardson number in a cross section perpendicular to the jet stream. A good relationship is found between the areas of turbulence and the regions of small Richardson number.

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