A Simple Model of the Lagrangian-Mean Flow Produced by Dissipating Planetary Waves

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  • 1 Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375
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Abstract

A simple equation for the Lagrangian-mean flow induced by damped planetary waves is derived. The flow computed for stationary planetary waves of a β-plane is found to be generally poleward and downward during winter and appears to be about twice as strong as the diabatic circulation in the lower stratosphere. An important factor in determining the high-latitude Lagrangian-mean flow field is the subtropical jet stream which blocks planetary wave propagation toward the equatorial regions.

Computations using two types of Lagrangian-mean boundary conditions at the surface show that incorrect orographic forcing distorts the Lagrangian-mean How up to three scale heights or more above ground.

Abstract

A simple equation for the Lagrangian-mean flow induced by damped planetary waves is derived. The flow computed for stationary planetary waves of a β-plane is found to be generally poleward and downward during winter and appears to be about twice as strong as the diabatic circulation in the lower stratosphere. An important factor in determining the high-latitude Lagrangian-mean flow field is the subtropical jet stream which blocks planetary wave propagation toward the equatorial regions.

Computations using two types of Lagrangian-mean boundary conditions at the surface show that incorrect orographic forcing distorts the Lagrangian-mean How up to three scale heights or more above ground.

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