Wave Transience in a Compressible Atmosphere. Part I: Transient Internal Wave, Mean-Flow Interaction

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle 98195
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Abstract

Vertically propagating internal waves give rise to mean flow accelerations in an atmosphere due to the effects of wave transience resulting from compressibility and vertical group velocity feedback. Such accelerations appear to culminate in the spontaneous formation and descent of regions of strong mean wind shear. Both analytical and numerical solutions are obtained in an approximate quasi-linear model which describes this effect.

The numerical solutions display mean flow accelerations due to Kelvin waves in the equatorial stratosphere. Wave absorption alters the transience mechanism in some significant respects, particularly in causing the upper atmospheric mean flow acceleration to be very sensitive to the precise magnitude and distribution of the damping mechanisms.

Part II of this series discusses numerical simulations of transient equatorial waves in the quasi-biennial oscillation. These results are of sufficient qualitative interest to merit attention in this paper, and this is done with the help of a simpler, prototype standing-wave model (Plumb, 1977).

Abstract

Vertically propagating internal waves give rise to mean flow accelerations in an atmosphere due to the effects of wave transience resulting from compressibility and vertical group velocity feedback. Such accelerations appear to culminate in the spontaneous formation and descent of regions of strong mean wind shear. Both analytical and numerical solutions are obtained in an approximate quasi-linear model which describes this effect.

The numerical solutions display mean flow accelerations due to Kelvin waves in the equatorial stratosphere. Wave absorption alters the transience mechanism in some significant respects, particularly in causing the upper atmospheric mean flow acceleration to be very sensitive to the precise magnitude and distribution of the damping mechanisms.

Part II of this series discusses numerical simulations of transient equatorial waves in the quasi-biennial oscillation. These results are of sufficient qualitative interest to merit attention in this paper, and this is done with the help of a simpler, prototype standing-wave model (Plumb, 1977).

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