The Meridional Transport of Angular Momentum in Wavenumber-Frequency Space

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo.
  • | 2 Dept. of Meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
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Abstract

The wavenumber-frequency spectra of the meridional transport of angular momentum at 100, 200 and 500 mb, at 20, 40, 60 and 80N, show that there exist definite spectral domains of wave interactions between the zonal and meridional velocities at various latitudes. In the middle latitudes near 40N, the spectral band of the meridional transport of angular momentum is oriented from a region of low wavenumbers and low frequencies to a region of high wavenumbers and negative frequencies designated for eastward-moving waves. In low latitudes, however, the spectral band is confined to a narrow band centered near zero frequency.

An analysis of the linear and nonlinear contributions to the meridional transport of angular momentum in various wavenumber-frequency domains indicates that in the mid-troposphere the primary contribution to the nonlinear interactions always involves the interactions of the spectral domain of concern with the mean zonal flow and the stationary planetary waves. It is also found that except in the domain of low-frequency, eastward-moving cyclone waves the following characteristics are in common. 1) the meridional transport of angular momentum is directed toward the north pole; 2) the resultant of the nonlinear interactions due to the longitudinal convergence of the transport provides a poleward flux of angular momentum in the domains of eastward-moving waves, but provides an equatorward transport in the domains of westward-moving waves; 3) the resultant of the nonlinear interactions due to the latitudinal convergence of the transport generally contributes a poleward transport of angular momentum in the domains of westward-moving waves, but contributes an equatorward transport in the domains of eastward-moving waves; 4) the ageostrophic effect always counteracts the nonlinear interactions due to the longitudinal convergence of the transport of angular momentum; and 5) the effects of eddy and molecular stress forces generally work against the ageostrophic effect.

The frequency spectra of the meridional transport of angular momentum indicate that: 1) in the summer most of the transport is accomplished by the moving waves, the eastward-moving waves contributing to most of the poleward transport, and the westward-moving waves to the equatorward transport; 2) in the winter most of the transport is accomplished by the stationary waves, and both the eastward- and westward- moving waves contribute to the poleward transport of angular momentum.

The wavenumber spectra of the transport of angular momentum indicate that in both the summer and winter seasons waves of practically all wavelengths in low and middle latitudes contribute to the poleward transport of angular momentum. In high latitudes, however, only the very long waves contribute to the equatorward transport of angular momentum.

Abstract

The wavenumber-frequency spectra of the meridional transport of angular momentum at 100, 200 and 500 mb, at 20, 40, 60 and 80N, show that there exist definite spectral domains of wave interactions between the zonal and meridional velocities at various latitudes. In the middle latitudes near 40N, the spectral band of the meridional transport of angular momentum is oriented from a region of low wavenumbers and low frequencies to a region of high wavenumbers and negative frequencies designated for eastward-moving waves. In low latitudes, however, the spectral band is confined to a narrow band centered near zero frequency.

An analysis of the linear and nonlinear contributions to the meridional transport of angular momentum in various wavenumber-frequency domains indicates that in the mid-troposphere the primary contribution to the nonlinear interactions always involves the interactions of the spectral domain of concern with the mean zonal flow and the stationary planetary waves. It is also found that except in the domain of low-frequency, eastward-moving cyclone waves the following characteristics are in common. 1) the meridional transport of angular momentum is directed toward the north pole; 2) the resultant of the nonlinear interactions due to the longitudinal convergence of the transport provides a poleward flux of angular momentum in the domains of eastward-moving waves, but provides an equatorward transport in the domains of westward-moving waves; 3) the resultant of the nonlinear interactions due to the latitudinal convergence of the transport generally contributes a poleward transport of angular momentum in the domains of westward-moving waves, but contributes an equatorward transport in the domains of eastward-moving waves; 4) the ageostrophic effect always counteracts the nonlinear interactions due to the longitudinal convergence of the transport of angular momentum; and 5) the effects of eddy and molecular stress forces generally work against the ageostrophic effect.

The frequency spectra of the meridional transport of angular momentum indicate that: 1) in the summer most of the transport is accomplished by the moving waves, the eastward-moving waves contributing to most of the poleward transport, and the westward-moving waves to the equatorward transport; 2) in the winter most of the transport is accomplished by the stationary waves, and both the eastward- and westward- moving waves contribute to the poleward transport of angular momentum.

The wavenumber spectra of the transport of angular momentum indicate that in both the summer and winter seasons waves of practically all wavelengths in low and middle latitudes contribute to the poleward transport of angular momentum. In high latitudes, however, only the very long waves contribute to the equatorward transport of angular momentum.

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