Mechanism for the Growth and Decay of Long- and Synoptic-Scale Waves in the Mid-Troposphere

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City 84112
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Abstract

An analysis of the forces and motion at 500 mb, between 30 and 60°N, in wavenumber-frequency domain, indicates that there exist definite cycles in the generation, transport and dissipation of the kinetic and available potential energies associated with long- and synoptic-scale waves. The growth and decay of the kinetic energy of long- and synoptic-scale waves are primarily controlled by the transport of kinetic energy to and from the waves through the nonlinear wave interactions, while the contribution to the kinetic energy through energy conversion tends to balance the effects of the Reynolds and frictional stresses. The evolution of the available potential energy associated with the long and synoptic waves is essentially the consequence of the transfer of thermal energy to and from the wave through the interaction between the velocity and temperature waves, while the transfer of thermal energy through the interactions between the velocity waves and the gradient of the zonal mean temperature tends to balance the effects of diabatic heating or cooling and energy conversion. The growth and decay of the kinetic energy of the zonal flow are primarily the result of the interaction between the velocity waves and the gradient of the mean zonal velocity, while the energy conversion from available potential to kinetic energy tends to balance the effects of the Reynolds and frictional stresses. The evolution of available potential energy associated with the zonal flow is essentially controlled by the interaction between the velocity waves and the gradient of the zonal mean temperature, while the effect of diabatic heating tends to balance the effect of energy conversion between the kinetic and available potential energies.

Abstract

An analysis of the forces and motion at 500 mb, between 30 and 60°N, in wavenumber-frequency domain, indicates that there exist definite cycles in the generation, transport and dissipation of the kinetic and available potential energies associated with long- and synoptic-scale waves. The growth and decay of the kinetic energy of long- and synoptic-scale waves are primarily controlled by the transport of kinetic energy to and from the waves through the nonlinear wave interactions, while the contribution to the kinetic energy through energy conversion tends to balance the effects of the Reynolds and frictional stresses. The evolution of the available potential energy associated with the long and synoptic waves is essentially the consequence of the transfer of thermal energy to and from the wave through the interaction between the velocity and temperature waves, while the transfer of thermal energy through the interactions between the velocity waves and the gradient of the zonal mean temperature tends to balance the effects of diabatic heating or cooling and energy conversion. The growth and decay of the kinetic energy of the zonal flow are primarily the result of the interaction between the velocity waves and the gradient of the mean zonal velocity, while the energy conversion from available potential to kinetic energy tends to balance the effects of the Reynolds and frictional stresses. The evolution of available potential energy associated with the zonal flow is essentially controlled by the interaction between the velocity waves and the gradient of the zonal mean temperature, while the effect of diabatic heating tends to balance the effect of energy conversion between the kinetic and available potential energies.

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