Theories of Multiple Equilibria and Weather Regimes—A Critical Reexamination. Part II: Baroclinic Two-Layer Models

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  • 1 Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
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Abstract

Previous results based on low- and intermediate-order truncations of the two-layer model suggest the existence of multiple equilibria and/or multiple weather regimes for the extratropical large-scale flow. The importance of the transient waves in the synoptic scales in organizing the large-scale flow and in the maintenance of weather regimes was emphasized. Our result shows that multiple equilibria/weather regimes that are present in lower order models examined disappear when a sufficient number of modes are kept in the spectral expansion of the solution to the governing partial differential equations. Much of the chaotic behavior of the large-scale flow that is present in intermediate order models is now found to be spurious. Physical reasons for the drastic modification are offered.

We further note a peculiarity in the formulation of most existing two-layer models that also tends to exaggerate the importance of baroclinic processes and increase the degree of unpredictability of the large-scale flow.

Abstract

Previous results based on low- and intermediate-order truncations of the two-layer model suggest the existence of multiple equilibria and/or multiple weather regimes for the extratropical large-scale flow. The importance of the transient waves in the synoptic scales in organizing the large-scale flow and in the maintenance of weather regimes was emphasized. Our result shows that multiple equilibria/weather regimes that are present in lower order models examined disappear when a sufficient number of modes are kept in the spectral expansion of the solution to the governing partial differential equations. Much of the chaotic behavior of the large-scale flow that is present in intermediate order models is now found to be spurious. Physical reasons for the drastic modification are offered.

We further note a peculiarity in the formulation of most existing two-layer models that also tends to exaggerate the importance of baroclinic processes and increase the degree of unpredictability of the large-scale flow.

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