The Kinetic Energy of the Large-Scale Atmospheric Motion in Wavenumber-Frequency Space: I. Northern Hemisphere

View More View Less
  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.
  • | 2 Dept. of Meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

The wavenumber-frequency spectra of the kinetic energy of the zonal and meridional components of the motion at 100, 200 and 500 mb, at 20, 40, 60 and 8ON, show a definite spectral domain of wave activities in the atmosphere. In middle latitudes, the spectral domain is oriented from a region of low wavenumbers and low frequencies to a region of high wavenumbers and negative frequencies designated for waves moving from west to east. In high latitudes, the domain of wave activities is confined to a region of low wavenumbers and low frequencies. In low latitudes, however, there exist two domains, one similar to that in the middle latitude and the other occurring in a narrow band centered near zero frequency in the medium wavenumber range.

The frequency spectra of the kinetic energy of the zonal motion show similar distributions at all levels and seasons, and are approximately proportional to the minus first power of the frequency in low latitudes but are proportional to the minus second power of the frequency in high latitudes. The wavenumber spectra of the zonal motion a1so show similar distributions at all levels and seasons, and are approximately proportional to the minus third power of the wavenumber in the high wavenumber range. The wavenumber spectra of the meridional motion show an energy peak in the wavenumber range k = 4–10. Again, in the high wavenumber range, the power spectra of the meridional motion are approximately proportional to the minus third power of the wavenumber.

The mean kinetic energy of the zonal motion shows a maximum near 4ON at all levels and seasons, except at 100 mb in the summer where it occurs near 20N. The distribution of the mean kinetic energy of the moving waves indicates a definite shift in the region of wave activities with height; the maximum wave activity occurs near 60N in the troposphere, near 4ON at the tropopause level, and near 6ON in the stratosphere. In winter, the mean kinetic energy of the meridional motion shows a great deal of energy in high latitudes, caused primarily by the winter instability of the polar vortex in the stratosphere.

Abstract

The wavenumber-frequency spectra of the kinetic energy of the zonal and meridional components of the motion at 100, 200 and 500 mb, at 20, 40, 60 and 8ON, show a definite spectral domain of wave activities in the atmosphere. In middle latitudes, the spectral domain is oriented from a region of low wavenumbers and low frequencies to a region of high wavenumbers and negative frequencies designated for waves moving from west to east. In high latitudes, the domain of wave activities is confined to a region of low wavenumbers and low frequencies. In low latitudes, however, there exist two domains, one similar to that in the middle latitude and the other occurring in a narrow band centered near zero frequency in the medium wavenumber range.

The frequency spectra of the kinetic energy of the zonal motion show similar distributions at all levels and seasons, and are approximately proportional to the minus first power of the frequency in low latitudes but are proportional to the minus second power of the frequency in high latitudes. The wavenumber spectra of the zonal motion a1so show similar distributions at all levels and seasons, and are approximately proportional to the minus third power of the wavenumber in the high wavenumber range. The wavenumber spectra of the meridional motion show an energy peak in the wavenumber range k = 4–10. Again, in the high wavenumber range, the power spectra of the meridional motion are approximately proportional to the minus third power of the wavenumber.

The mean kinetic energy of the zonal motion shows a maximum near 4ON at all levels and seasons, except at 100 mb in the summer where it occurs near 20N. The distribution of the mean kinetic energy of the moving waves indicates a definite shift in the region of wave activities with height; the maximum wave activity occurs near 60N in the troposphere, near 4ON at the tropopause level, and near 6ON in the stratosphere. In winter, the mean kinetic energy of the meridional motion shows a great deal of energy in high latitudes, caused primarily by the winter instability of the polar vortex in the stratosphere.

Save