An Atmospheric Solitary Gust Observed with a Doppler Radar, a Tall Tower and a Surface Network

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  • 1 National Severe Storms Laboratory, NOAA, Norman, OK 73069
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Abstract

Doppler radar and a 444 m tall instrumented tower provide a detailed view of the kinematic and thermodynamic structure of a solitary gust. A study of the data fields, and comparison with theoretical and laboratory work leads to the conclusion that the gust is an internal solitary wave of permanent form launched by a thunderstorm outflow onto an inversion layer formed by the passage of an earlier storm. Comparisons with results from fluid experiments and numerical models are made and the similarities are striking. Both observations show turbulent breakdown at the rear of the wave. The ease with which solitary waves can be generated in experiments gives reason to believe that these nonlinear waves might be of considerable interest in the context of geophysical fluid dynamics.

Abstract

Doppler radar and a 444 m tall instrumented tower provide a detailed view of the kinematic and thermodynamic structure of a solitary gust. A study of the data fields, and comparison with theoretical and laboratory work leads to the conclusion that the gust is an internal solitary wave of permanent form launched by a thunderstorm outflow onto an inversion layer formed by the passage of an earlier storm. Comparisons with results from fluid experiments and numerical models are made and the similarities are striking. Both observations show turbulent breakdown at the rear of the wave. The ease with which solitary waves can be generated in experiments gives reason to believe that these nonlinear waves might be of considerable interest in the context of geophysical fluid dynamics.

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