A Diagnostic Study of Eddy-Mean Flow Interactions during FGGE SOP-1

Mark P. Baldwin Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Washington. Seattle. Washington 98195

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H. J. Edmon Jr. Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Washington. Seattle. Washington 98195

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James R. Holton Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Washington. Seattle. Washington 98195

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Abstract

Eliassen-Palm (EP) diagrams have been shown to be very useful diagnostics in both the troposphere and the stratosphere. However, the idea that the EP flux divergence is the sole forcing of the mean wind by the eddies can be misleading. A time series of the time rate of change of the zonal mean wind and the EP flux divergence shows that the two quantities were not well correlated during the FGGE special observing period (SOP-1, winter 1979). Calculation of the residual in the zonal momentum equation reveals that considerable negative acceleration (drag) is required to complete the momentum balance in some regions. This residual indicates that not all terms are well represented in atmospheric data sets, and may be largely due to the breaking of vertically propagating gravity waves near the tropopause.

Eliassen-Palm diagrams are presented for the FGGE data, as well as Oort's 11-year climatology. The Oort EP diagrams serve as a standard with which to compare other EP diagrams. The FGGE year is shown to be very similar to climatology. A consistent method of displaying the EP flux vectors and divergence is suggested, which has advantages over previous methods.

Abstract

Eliassen-Palm (EP) diagrams have been shown to be very useful diagnostics in both the troposphere and the stratosphere. However, the idea that the EP flux divergence is the sole forcing of the mean wind by the eddies can be misleading. A time series of the time rate of change of the zonal mean wind and the EP flux divergence shows that the two quantities were not well correlated during the FGGE special observing period (SOP-1, winter 1979). Calculation of the residual in the zonal momentum equation reveals that considerable negative acceleration (drag) is required to complete the momentum balance in some regions. This residual indicates that not all terms are well represented in atmospheric data sets, and may be largely due to the breaking of vertically propagating gravity waves near the tropopause.

Eliassen-Palm diagrams are presented for the FGGE data, as well as Oort's 11-year climatology. The Oort EP diagrams serve as a standard with which to compare other EP diagrams. The FGGE year is shown to be very similar to climatology. A consistent method of displaying the EP flux vectors and divergence is suggested, which has advantages over previous methods.

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