The Role of Barotropic Oscillations within Atmospheres of Highly Variable Refractive Index

View More View Less
  • 1 University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

Among the various energy transfer mechanisms that might be relevant for teleconnections between tropical and higher latitudes, Rossby wave propagation is certainly one of the most important. In view of this, it is of interest to understand how the propagation of Rossby waves might be affected by ambient flows which locally may be unable to sustain oscillations due to vorticity gradients. This concept is re-examined based on the observation that there are large areas over the Pacific where the upper tropospheric absolute vorticity and its horizontal gradient are small. These key areas for teleconnections might be suspected to be unfavorable to the local propagation of Rossby waves. Results of integrations of the barotropic vorticity equation on the sphere are presented to show the role that regions with small absolute vorticity gradient play in this problem. Implications regarding the maintenance of blocks and the influence of divergent effects are also addressed.

Abstract

Among the various energy transfer mechanisms that might be relevant for teleconnections between tropical and higher latitudes, Rossby wave propagation is certainly one of the most important. In view of this, it is of interest to understand how the propagation of Rossby waves might be affected by ambient flows which locally may be unable to sustain oscillations due to vorticity gradients. This concept is re-examined based on the observation that there are large areas over the Pacific where the upper tropospheric absolute vorticity and its horizontal gradient are small. These key areas for teleconnections might be suspected to be unfavorable to the local propagation of Rossby waves. Results of integrations of the barotropic vorticity equation on the sphere are presented to show the role that regions with small absolute vorticity gradient play in this problem. Implications regarding the maintenance of blocks and the influence of divergent effects are also addressed.

Save