An Analysis of Conditions Associated with an Occurrence of Stratospheric CAT

Richard D. Delay Captain, Air Weather Service, U. S. Air Force

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John A. Dutton Dept. of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Abstract

Cross sections of potential temperature, wind shell, and gradient Richardson number were constructed from data obtained during a Project HICAT flight and analyzed to determine the relationship to clear air turbulence in the stratosphere. CAT was found to be associated with strong baroclinic zones and with a critical value of the Richardson number of 0.25.

Energy budgets for five patches of turbulence associated with this outbreak of stratosphere clear air turbulence were also examined, and found to balance within 4–18% of the total rate of shear production.

Abstract

Cross sections of potential temperature, wind shell, and gradient Richardson number were constructed from data obtained during a Project HICAT flight and analyzed to determine the relationship to clear air turbulence in the stratosphere. CAT was found to be associated with strong baroclinic zones and with a critical value of the Richardson number of 0.25.

Energy budgets for five patches of turbulence associated with this outbreak of stratosphere clear air turbulence were also examined, and found to balance within 4–18% of the total rate of shear production.

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