All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 287 75 2
PDF Downloads 167 56 0

The Observed Life Cycle of a Baroclinic Instability

William J. RandelPhysics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010

Search for other papers by William J. Randel in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
John L. StanfordPhysics Department, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50010

Search for other papers by John L. Stanford in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Full access

Abstract

Medium-scale waves (zonal wavenumbers 4–7) frequently dominate Southern Hemisphere summer circulation patterns. Randel and Stanford have studied the dynamics of these features, demonstrating that the medium-scale waves result from baroclinic excitation and exhibit well-defined life cycles. This study details the evolution of the medium-scale waves during a particular life cycle. The specific case chosen exhibits a high degree of zonal symmetry, prompting study based upon zonally averaged diagnostics. An analysis of the medium-scale wave energetics reveals a well-defined life cycle of baroclinic growth, maturity, and barotropic decay. Eliassen-Palm flux diagrams detail the daily wave structure and its interaction with the zonally-averged flow.

Abstract

Medium-scale waves (zonal wavenumbers 4–7) frequently dominate Southern Hemisphere summer circulation patterns. Randel and Stanford have studied the dynamics of these features, demonstrating that the medium-scale waves result from baroclinic excitation and exhibit well-defined life cycles. This study details the evolution of the medium-scale waves during a particular life cycle. The specific case chosen exhibits a high degree of zonal symmetry, prompting study based upon zonally averaged diagnostics. An analysis of the medium-scale wave energetics reveals a well-defined life cycle of baroclinic growth, maturity, and barotropic decay. Eliassen-Palm flux diagrams detail the daily wave structure and its interaction with the zonally-averged flow.

Save