Analytic and Numerical Models of Wave-CISK with Conditional Heating

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  • 1 Northwest Research Associates, Inc., Bellevue, Washington
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Abstract

Wave-CISK with conditional heating is investigated in the equatorial zonal-height plane by analytic and numerical techniques. For two- and three-level models, previous results are extended to give additional evidence that the most unstable mode has a single wet region of infinitesimal width. A three-level model has qualitatively similar behavior as the two-level model except that propagating solutions are possible due to coalescence of internal vertical modes. Phase speeds with conditional heating are found to be slightly greater than those for unconditional heating. The structure has one circulation cell in the vertical and is asymmetric in longitude with stronger motion on the leading edge. Growth rate is inversely proportional to the width of the single wet region. That width can be limited by second-order diffusion. A general integral relationship between growth rate, viscosity, phase speed, and heating is derived.The main conclusion is that the linear wave-CISK catastrophe is modified by conditional heating but not eliminated. The preferred mode of instability has one wet region, but it occurs on the smallest possible scale. It is likely that numerical models that use conditional heating are sensitive to resolution, especially for the commonly used spectral truncations, unless there is sufficiently strong damping at the smallest scales.

Abstract

Wave-CISK with conditional heating is investigated in the equatorial zonal-height plane by analytic and numerical techniques. For two- and three-level models, previous results are extended to give additional evidence that the most unstable mode has a single wet region of infinitesimal width. A three-level model has qualitatively similar behavior as the two-level model except that propagating solutions are possible due to coalescence of internal vertical modes. Phase speeds with conditional heating are found to be slightly greater than those for unconditional heating. The structure has one circulation cell in the vertical and is asymmetric in longitude with stronger motion on the leading edge. Growth rate is inversely proportional to the width of the single wet region. That width can be limited by second-order diffusion. A general integral relationship between growth rate, viscosity, phase speed, and heating is derived.The main conclusion is that the linear wave-CISK catastrophe is modified by conditional heating but not eliminated. The preferred mode of instability has one wet region, but it occurs on the smallest possible scale. It is likely that numerical models that use conditional heating are sensitive to resolution, especially for the commonly used spectral truncations, unless there is sufficiently strong damping at the smallest scales.

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