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    The longitude–pressure sections of (a) the meridional components of 3D residual mean flow associated with disturbances ; (b) , where is the 3D-flux-M including the terms having the time-mean wind shear; (c) , where F1 is the 3D-flux-M; (d) , where FW1 is the 3D-flux-W; (e) , where FP1 is the 3D wave activity flux derived by Plumb (1986); and (f) , which are averaged in the latitudes from 30° to 60°N on 15 Apr. The aforementioned terms are shown by the color shading. The solid contours in all maps show the variance of the geopotential height as an index of the storm tracks. Contour interval is 4 × 103 m2.

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    The longitude–pressure sections (arrows) of (a) the 3D-flux-M including the terms having the time-mean wind shear, (b) the 3D-flux-M, (c) the 3D-flux-W, and (d) the 3D wave activity flux derived by Plumb (1986), which are averaged in the latitudes from 30° to 60°N on 15 Apr. The aforementioned terms are shown by the arrows. The color in all maps shows Fu. The solid contours in all maps show the variance of the geopotential height as an index of the storm tracks. Contour interval is 4 × 103 m2. Note that all quantities except for the variance of the geopotential height are divided by the square root of ρ0.

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A Formulation of Unified Three-Dimensional Wave Activity Flux of Inertia–Gravity Waves and Rossby Waves

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  • 1 Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
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Abstract

A companion paper formulates the three-dimensional wave activity flux (3D-flux-M) whose divergence corresponds to the wave forcing on the primitive equations. However, unlike the two-dimensional wave activity flux, 3D-flux-M does not accurately describe the magnitude and direction of wave propagation. In this study, the authors formulate a modification of 3D-flux-M (3D-flux-W) to describe this propagation using small-amplitude theory for a slowly varying time-mean flow. A unified dispersion relation for inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves is also derived and used to relate 3D-flux-W to the group velocity. It is shown that 3D-flux-W and the modified wave activity density agree with those for inertia–gravity waves under the constant Coriolis parameter assumption and those for Rossby waves under the small Rossby number assumption.

To compare 3D-flux-M with 3D-flux-W, an analysis of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) data is performed focusing on wave disturbances in the storm tracks during April. While the divergence of 3D-flux-M is in good agreement with the meridional component of the 3D residual mean flow associated with disturbances, the 3D-flux-W divergence shows slight differences in the upstream and downstream regions of the storm tracks. Further, the 3D-flux-W magnitude and direction are in good agreement with those derived by R. A. Plumb, who describes Rossby wave propagation. However, 3D-flux-M is different from Plumb’s flux in the vicinity of the storm tracks. These results suggest that different fluxes (both 3D-flux-W and 3D-flux-M) are needed to describe wave propagation and wave–mean flow interaction in the 3D formulation.

Current affiliation: Integrated Science Data System Research Laboratory, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan.

Corresponding author address: Takenari Kinoshita, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. E-mail: kinoshita@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Abstract

A companion paper formulates the three-dimensional wave activity flux (3D-flux-M) whose divergence corresponds to the wave forcing on the primitive equations. However, unlike the two-dimensional wave activity flux, 3D-flux-M does not accurately describe the magnitude and direction of wave propagation. In this study, the authors formulate a modification of 3D-flux-M (3D-flux-W) to describe this propagation using small-amplitude theory for a slowly varying time-mean flow. A unified dispersion relation for inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves is also derived and used to relate 3D-flux-W to the group velocity. It is shown that 3D-flux-W and the modified wave activity density agree with those for inertia–gravity waves under the constant Coriolis parameter assumption and those for Rossby waves under the small Rossby number assumption.

To compare 3D-flux-M with 3D-flux-W, an analysis of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) data is performed focusing on wave disturbances in the storm tracks during April. While the divergence of 3D-flux-M is in good agreement with the meridional component of the 3D residual mean flow associated with disturbances, the 3D-flux-W divergence shows slight differences in the upstream and downstream regions of the storm tracks. Further, the 3D-flux-W magnitude and direction are in good agreement with those derived by R. A. Plumb, who describes Rossby wave propagation. However, 3D-flux-M is different from Plumb’s flux in the vicinity of the storm tracks. These results suggest that different fluxes (both 3D-flux-W and 3D-flux-M) are needed to describe wave propagation and wave–mean flow interaction in the 3D formulation.

Current affiliation: Integrated Science Data System Research Laboratory, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Tokyo, Japan.

Corresponding author address: Takenari Kinoshita, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. E-mail: kinoshita@eps.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp

1. Introduction

The wave activity flux in the transformed Eulerian-mean (TEM) equations, which is widely known as Eliassen–Palm (EP) flux, is derived in Andrews and McIntyre (1976, 1978). The EP flux F(EP) satisfies the following relation under the Wentzel–Kramers–Brillouin (WKB) approximation (Edmon et al. 1980):
e1.1
where Cg is the group velocity and A is the zonal-mean wave activity density. The conservation relation of wave activity density is expressed using the divergence of EP flux,
e1.2
where D denotes nonconservative terms such as frictional and diabatic effects. This equation is called the generalized EP theorem (Andrews and McIntyre 1978). The time derivative of the wave activity density expresses the wave transience. For linear, steady, and conservative waves in a purely zonal basic flow, the divergence of EP flux vanishes. Under such conditions, the waves neither drive the meridional circulation nor accelerate the zonal-mean zonal wind. This is called the nonacceleration theorem (Eliassen and Palm 1961; Charney and Drazin 1961). Thus, the EP flux is a powerful tool for examining the wave propagation and wave-mean flow interaction in the meridional cross section.

On the other hand, there are many studies that generalize the TEM equations to three dimensions in order to examine the 3D wave propagation and local wave activity. Hoskins et al. (1983), Trenberth (1986), and Plumb (1986) extended the TEM equations to 3D using the time mean instead of the zonal mean under the quasigeostrophic (QG) approximation. Hoskins et al. (1983) derived the 3D wave activity flux based on the horizontal velocity correlation tensor. While successfully representing the interaction between the time-mean flow and waves, their wave activity flux is not parallel to the group velocity of Rossby waves. Trenberth (1986) derived the 3D wave activity flux by adding the zonal and meridional derivatives of the perturbation kinetic energy to the zonal and meridional momentum equations, respectively. His wave activity flux is parallel to the horizontal group velocity of Rossby waves only for the barotropic case. Plumb (1986) derived the 3D wave activity flux using the potential vorticity conservation theorem. This wave activity flux is equal to the product of the group velocity and the wave activity density of Rossby waves like the TEM (2D) EP flux under the QG approximation. Takaya and Nakamura (1997, 2001) derived a phase-independent 3D wave activity flux applicable to quasi-stationary Rossby waves in zonally asymmetric flow using the wave activity density and wave energy conservation laws. Their flux can be calculated without first computing the time mean to eliminate the wave phase structure, and their flux is equal to the product of the group velocity and the generalized wave activity density for QG perturbations.

From the primitive equations, Miyahara (2006) and Kinoshita et al. (2010) derived a 3D wave activity flux applicable to inertia–gravity waves using the time mean when the Coriolis parameter is constant. Since their wave activity flux is equal to the product of the group velocity and wave activity density of inertia–gravity waves under the WKB approximation, it is similar to the TEM (2D) EP flux under the constant Coriolis parameter assumption. Note that their wave activity flux can be reduced to the 3D wave activity flux describing the propagation of Rossby waves, which was derived by Plumb (1986) under the small Rossby number assumption.

Noda (2010) formulated a generalized 3D-TEM equation for a plane wave under the WKB approximation. He also showed that his wave activity flux is equal to the product of the group velocity and the wave activity density. However, since the covariance of perturbations is included in the denominator of the formulas for the 3D wave activity flux, his formulas can only be used for a purely monochromatic wave.

In ocean dynamics, Lee and Leach (1996) derived the 3D wave activity flux for a nonquasigeostrophic time-mean flow in isopycnic coordinates from the time-mean horizontal momentum and continuity equations. While the divergence of their 3D wave activity flux is related to the wave forcing of the mean flow, it is not parallel to the group velocity. Gent and McWilliams (1996) derived the time-mean 3D wave activity flux from the primitive equations by replacing the mean flow with the 3D residual mean flow of the time-mean horizontal momentum equation in all terms except for the acceleration term. However, they did not examine the relation between the direction of their 3D wave activity flux and the group velocity.

These previous studies [except for Noda (2010), Lee and Leach (1996), and Gent and McWilliams (1996)] assumed either the QG approximation or a constant Coriolis parameter. Thus, their formulas are applicable either to Rossby waves or inertia–gravity waves. Our companion paper Kinoshita and Sato (2013) gives a formulation of the 3D residual mean flow and wave activity flux that is applicable to both Rossby waves and inertia–gravity waves. The divergence of this 3D wave activity flux corresponds to the wave forcing of the mean flow in the horizontal momentum equation.

On the other hand, the present study derives a form of the 3D wave activity flux that is proportional to the group velocity. This wave activity flux has different forms from that formulated by Kinoshita and Sato (2013). However, this does not mean that our formulations are incomplete. It rather indicates that different 3D wave activity fluxes are needed for the study of the wave forcing to the mean flow and for the study of the wave propagation.

This paper is organized as follows. In section 2, after a unified dispersion relation for inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves is derived, the relation between the 3D wave activity flux and the group velocity is examined. To relate the 3D wave activity flux to the group velocity, the wave activity density and 3D wave activity flux are modified. It is shown that the modified wave activity density reduces to the wave activity density for inertia–gravity waves under the constant Coriolis parameter assumption and reduces to the wave activity density for Rossby waves under the small Rossby number assumption. Section 3 shows that the modified 3D wave activity flux is equal to the product of the group velocity and the wave activity density for inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves under the appropriate assumptions. In section 4, the relation between the 3D residual mean flow and the divergence of 3D wave activity flux is discussed. Moreover, the relation between the 3D wave activity flux and that derived by Plumb (1986) is investigated. A summary and some concluding remarks are given in section 5.

2. The 3D wave activity flux describing the wave propagation for the primitive equation system

a. The time-mean 3D Stokes drift and 3D wave activity flux

Kinoshita and Sato (2013) derived the following formulas for the primitive equation system:
e2.1a
e2.1b
e2.1c
where z is the log-pressure height; u, υ, and w are the zonal, meridional, and vertical wind components, respectively; ρ0 is the basic density; Φ is the geopotential; f is the Coriolis parameter; N2 is the buoyancy frequency squared (expressing static stability); the suffixes x, y, and z denote the partial derivatives; and we define . The overbar and prime symbols express the time mean and its deviation, respectively. This form is approximately equal to the Stokes drift as the difference between the residual mean flow and the Eulerian-mean flow. Moreover, this form is applicable to both Rossby waves and inertia–gravity waves since the dispersion relation is not used in deriving this form, unlike the derivations of Miyahara (2006) and Kinoshita et al. (2010).
Kinoshita and Sato (2013) show that this 3D Stokes drift reduces to that for inertia–gravity waves derived by Kinoshita et al. (2010) when the Coriolis parameter is constant and reduces to that for Rossby waves when the Rossby number is small. Moreover, the time-mean 3D wave activity flux is derived by substituting the 3D Stokes drift into the time-mean horizontal momentum equation. The flux is written as follows under an assumption that the time-mean wind shear is negligible:
e2.2a
e2.2b
e2.2c
e2.2d
e2.2e
e2.2f
where F1 (F11, F12, F13) and F2 (F21, F22, F23) are included in the time-mean zonal and meridional momentum equations, respectively. Note that (2.2) is named 3D-flux-M because it is the flux whose divergence corresponds to the wave forcing to the time-mean flow (Kinoshita and Sato 2013). However, the 3D wave activity flux describing the wave propagation is different from 3D-flux-M and is called 3D-flux-W in this article. We examine how 3D-flux-W should be written so as to take the form of the product of the group velocity and the wave activity density using the dispersion relation, which describes both inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves.

b. The dispersion relation for the primitive equation system

To derive 3D-flux-W, which is applicable both to inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves, a dispersion relation describing the nature of both waves is obtained. When the time-mean wind shear is small, the equations of motion and the continuity and thermodynamic equations for perturbations of the primitive equations in a log-pressure coordinate system are written as follows:
e2.3a
e2.3b
e2.3c
e2.3d
e2.3e
where it is assumed that the time-mean vertical wind and the nonconservative and diabatic terms are negligible. Since the Coriolis parameter f depends on the latitude (and hence the horizontal momentum equation for perturbations is nonlinear for the meridional direction), a perturbation a′ having the following form is considered:
e2.4a
where H is the constant-scale height; k and m are the zonal and vertical wavenumbers, respectively; and ω is the ground-based angular frequency. The basic density is expressed as
e2.4b
where ρs is the surface density. Substituting (2.4) into (2.3a) and (2.3b) and eliminating u′ yields
e2.5
where is used. Similarly, substituting (2.4) into (2.3a), (2.3c), and (2.3d) and eliminating u′ yields
e2.6
where . Substituting (2.6) and its meridional derivative into (2.5) in order to eliminate , the second-order differential equation for is obtained as
e2.7
It is worth noting that this differential equation agrees with that for equatorial waves when f = βy and β is constant. Assuming that the square bracket in (2.7) is independent of y, the sinusoidal wave form for in the meridional direction is
e2.8
where υ0 is an arbitrary constant, and l is the meridional wavenumber. Then, a dispersion relation for the primitive equations is obtained:
e2.9
This relation agrees with the dispersion relation of Rossby waves under a small Rossby number assumption ,
e2.10
where f = f0 + βy and f0 is the Coriolis parameter at the reference latitude. On the other hand, this relation agrees with the dispersion relation of inertia–gravity waves when the Coriolis parameter is constant (fy = 0):
e2.11
Thus, (2.9) can be considered as a unified dispersion relation for inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves.

c. The meridional and vertical components of 3D-flux-W and the modified wave activity density

In this section, it is shown that the meridional and vertical components of 3D-flux-M in (2.2) describe the wave propagation by examining the relation between 3D-flux-M and the group velocity. Moreover, in order to relate the flux to the group velocity, the modified wave activity density is derived. The relation for the zonal component will be examined in the next section.

First, 3D-flux-M and the wave activity density are written in terms of Φ′. Considering that perturbations of physical quantities other than υ in (2.8) also have a sinusoidal wave form in the meridional direction, (2.4) can be written as
e2.12
Substituting (2.12) into (2.3), the wind perturbations are written in terms of Φ′ as
e2.13
By using (2.13), 3D-flux-M in (2.2) is written in terms of Φ′ as
e2.14
Defining the wave activity density as the ratio of the perturbation energy to the intrinsic phase velocity, the wave activity density is written as
e2.15a
e2.15b
where is the perturbation energy, and and are the zonal and meridional components of the intrinsic phase velocity, respectively. Furthermore, by using the dispersion relation (2.9), the zonal, meridional, and vertical components of the group velocity are expressed as follows:
e2.16
The product of and is written in terms of Φ′ as
e2.17
This formula for should correspond to 3D-flux-M F12 like 2D-EP flux in the TEM equations but is not identical to F12. To relate F12 to (2.17), an additional is used:
e2.18a
Adding the term in (2.18) into the perturbation energy, the modified perturbation energy is defined
e2.18b
By using (2.16) and (2.18b), the following relation is obtained:
e2.19a
e2.19b
Similarly,
e2.19c
e2.19d
Thus, the meridional and vertical components of 3D-flux-M are proportional to the respective components of the group velocity. It is important to note that vanishes under the small Rossby number assumption or the constant Coriolis parameter assumption. In other words, appears when the unified dispersion relation (2.9) is used.

d. The zonal component of 3D-flux-W

To relate 3D-flux-M to the group velocity in the zonal direction, an additional term is needed for 3D-flux-M in (2.2a) and (2.2d). We can write the product of and in terms of Φ′ as
e2.20
This does not agree with F11. To relate F11 to (2.20), the term Fu is defined as follows:
e2.21
Using (2.21), we obtain the zonal component of 3D-flux-W
e2.22a
e2.22b
It is important to note that Fu is rewritten using as
e2.23
The term Fu vanishes under the constant Coriolis parameter assumption (i.e., for inertia–gravity waves) and agrees with the perturbation energy under the QG assumption (i.e., for Rossby waves) as shown in the next section.

In summary, by defining the modified wave activity density as (2.19b) and (2.19d) and 3D-flux-W as (2.22a), (2.22b), (2.19a), and (2.19c), we derived a unified relation for the 3D propagations of inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves; that is, 3D-flux-W is equal to the product of the group velocity and the modified wave activity density in all directions.

3. The relation between 3D-flux-W and the other 3D wave activity flux

a. The relation between 3D-flux-W and the 3D wave activity flux for inertia–gravity waves (IG-flux)

When the time-mean wind shear is negligible, the 3D IG-flux under the constant Coriolis parameter assumption is expressed as (Miyahara 2006; Kinoshita et al. 2010)
e3.1a
e3.1b
It is found that the difference between 3D-flux-W in (2.22a), (2.22b), (2.19a), and (2.19c) and the 3D IG-flux (3.1) is and . By using (2.13), is written in terms of Φ′ as
e3.2
On the other hand, when the dispersion relation of inertia–gravity waves in (2.11) is used, is written in terms of Φ′ as
e3.3
This is identical to (3.2). Thus, vanishes, and hence, 3D-flux-W in (2.22a), (2.22b), (2.19a), and (2.19c) agrees with the 3D IG-flux (3.1) when the Coriolis parameter is constant.

b. The relation between 3D-flux-W and the 3D wave activity flux for Rossby waves (QG-flux)

In this section, first, the 3D QG-flux is obtained by converting 3D-flux-W in (2.22a), (2.22b), (2.19a), and (2.19c) under the small Rossby number assumption. Then, it is confirmed that the 3D QG-flux is proportional to the group velocity of the Rossby waves.

When the Rossby number is small, in 3D-flux-W is converted by using the Taylor expansion and neglecting the second-order terms,
e3.4
where suffixes g and a denote the geostrophic and ageostrophic components, respectively. Moreover, and are reduced in a similar way
e3.5
Thus, 3D-flux-W in (2.22a), (2.22b), (2.19a), and (2.19c) becomes
e3.6a
e3.6b
e3.6c
e3.6d
e3.6e
where , and . Since and are smaller than (3.6) by an order of magnitude, they are neglected. The wave activity flux in (3.6) is referred to as 3D QG-flux in this study.
Next, for the perturbation of the geopotential, a form of plane wave in (2.12) is considered. By using the geostrophic balance , and the dispersion relation of Rossby waves (2.10), the 3D QG-flux in (3.6) is written in terms of Φ′ as
e3.7a
e3.7b
e3.7c
e3.7d
e3.7e
e3.7f
Similarly, the wave activity density is written as
e3.8a
e3.8b
From the dispersion relation of Rossby waves in (2.10), the zonal, meridional, and vertical components of the group velocity are expressed as follows:
e3.9
Thus, from (3.7)(3.9),
e3.10
This result and that in section 3a indicate that 3D-flux-W describes the propagation of both inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves. Under the assumption that the time-mean wind shear is negligible, the 3D QG-flux agrees with the 3D wave activity flux FP = (FP1, FP2, FP3,) derived by Plumb [1986, his (4.4)]:
e3.11a
e3.11b
e3.11c
where is the time-mean quasigeostrophic potential vorticity. This is because and under the abovementioned assumption, and can be rewritten as . It is important to note that FP is expressed with MR defined by Plumb (1986) and is equal to the product of the intrinsic group velocity (rather than the ground-based group velocity) and the wave activity density of the Rossby waves (Plumb 1986). Note also that neither the 3D QG-flux nor Plumb’s wave activity flux is equal to the flux whose divergence corresponds to the wave forcing to the mean flow. This point is discussed in more detail in the next section.

4. Discussion

In the TEM equations, the 2D-EP flux included in the zonal momentum equation can be written as the product of the wave activity density and the group velocity under the WKB approximation. However, the 3D formulation of the wave activity flux given by (2.2) cannot be written as the product of the group velocity and the wave activity density. Most previous studies first formulated the 3D wave activity flux, which describes the wave propagation from the standpoint of waves, and then formulated the 3D residual mean flow by using the 3D wave activity flux in the time-mean horizontal momentum equation. However, the 3D residual mean flow derived in such a way is not equal to the sum of the time-mean flow and the Stokes drift. This is due to the fact that the 3D wave activity flux related to the wave forcing to the time-mean flow is different from that describing the wave propagation. Kinoshita and Sato (2013) and the present study formulate both types of 3D wave activity flux (3D-flux-M and 3D-flux-W, respectively).

In this section, in order to show that the divergence of 3D-flux-M corresponds to the wave forcing to the mean flow and that 3D-flux-W describes the wave propagation, we show an analysis of European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) data to compare the 3D residual mean flow derived by Kinoshita and Sato (2013) to the divergences of three kinds of 3D wave activity flux (3D-flux-M, 3D-flux-W, and Plumb’s wave activity flux). The direction and magnitude of the three kinds of 3D wave activity flux are compared.

a. Data description

As in Kinoshita and Sato (2013), the ERA-Interim data for 19 yr from 1990 to 2008 are used for the analysis. The time-mean field is obtained by applying a low-pass filter with a cutoff period of 60 days to the data. The disturbance field is defined as the deviation from the time-mean field. We calculate the climatological time-mean quantities over those 19 yr. The results are shown for 15 April, when the transient disturbances are strong in the Northern Hemisphere (Nakamura 1992; Sato et al. 2000). Note that the low-pass-filtered data for 15 April roughly corresponds to the data averaged over 30 days with a center at 15 April.

b. Comparison between the residual mean flow and the three kinds of 3D wave activity flux

The transformed time-mean zonal momentum equation is formulated by Kinoshita and Sato (2013):
e4.1
where , , and are the zonal, meridional, and vertical components of the 3D residual mean flow; is the unspecified zonal friction and other nonconservative mechanical forcings; and is 3D-flux-M including the terms with the time-mean wind shear
e4.2a
e4.2b
e4.2c
It was shown that the 3D residual mean flow is equal to the sum of the time-mean wind and the 3D Stokes drift in (2.1). In this study, the time-mean balanced flow included in the 3D residual mean flow is regarded as the background wind. The time-mean balanced flow is defined as follows:
e4.3a
e4.3b
The sum of the unbalanced flow, which is defined as the difference between the time-mean wind and the balanced flow, and the 3D Stokes drift is regarded as the 3D residual mean flow associated with the disturbances . The meridional component of this residual mean flow roughly satisfies the following relation from the analysis of Kinoshita and Sato (2013):
e4.4

The difference between 3D-flux-M and other kinds of 3D wave activity flux mainly appears in the zonal component. We focus on the storm-track region in the upper troposphere, where the longitudinal variation is large. It should be noted that this section uses all equations in spherical coordinates, not Cartesian coordinates, and they are introduced in the appendix. Figure 1 shows the longitude–pressure cross section of the meridional component of the 3D residual mean flow associated with disturbances (Fig. 1a); (Fig. 1b); , where F1 is 3D-flux-M (F11, F12, F13) (Fig. 1c); , where FW1 is 3D-flux-W [FW11(=F11 + Fu), F12, F13] (Fig. 1d); (Fig. 1e); and (Fig. 1f), which are averaged in the latitudes from 30° to 60°N. The contours show the variance of the geopotential height disturbances. Two remarkable storm tracks are located from 150°E to 120°W and from 60°W to 0°. The distributions of and are in good agreement with those of the 3D residual mean flow associated with the disturbances (Figs. 1a, 1b, and 1c), as is consistent with the results of Kinoshita and Sato (2013). On the other hand, the distributions of and are slightly different from the 3D residual mean flow associated with disturbances in the upstream (140°–170°E and 70°–90°W) and downstream (110°–140°W) regions of the storm tracks, respectively (Figs. 1a, 1d, and 1e). These regions correspond to the regions where the longitudinal variation in Fu is large (Fig. 1f). Note that Plumb’s wave activity flux corresponds to 3D-flux-M and does not describe the wave forcing to the time-mean flow under the QG assumption (Plumb 1986; Kinoshita and Sato 2013).

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

The longitude–pressure sections of (a) the meridional components of 3D residual mean flow associated with disturbances ; (b) , where is the 3D-flux-M including the terms having the time-mean wind shear; (c) , where F1 is the 3D-flux-M; (d) , where FW1 is the 3D-flux-W; (e) , where FP1 is the 3D wave activity flux derived by Plumb (1986); and (f) , which are averaged in the latitudes from 30° to 60°N on 15 Apr. The aforementioned terms are shown by the color shading. The solid contours in all maps show the variance of the geopotential height as an index of the storm tracks. Contour interval is 4 × 103 m2.

Citation: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 70, 6; 10.1175/JAS-D-12-0138.1

Figure 2 shows the longitude–pressure cross section of (Fig. 2a), F1 (Fig. 2b), FW1 (Fig. 2c), and FP (Fig. 2d), which are averaged over the latitudes from 30° to 60°N. The color shows Fu. The contours show the variance of the geopotential height disturbances. Note that all quantities except for the variance of the geopotential height are divided by the square root of ρ0 to emphasize their differences. It is found that FW1 is in good agreement with FP. Note that FP is equal to the product of the group velocity and the wave activity density of the Rossby waves (Plumb 1986). On the other hand, F1 and are different from FP, especially around the storm tracks. This is because F1 is not proportional to the group velocity in the zonal component.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

The longitude–pressure sections (arrows) of (a) the 3D-flux-M including the terms having the time-mean wind shear, (b) the 3D-flux-M, (c) the 3D-flux-W, and (d) the 3D wave activity flux derived by Plumb (1986), which are averaged in the latitudes from 30° to 60°N on 15 Apr. The aforementioned terms are shown by the arrows. The color in all maps shows Fu. The solid contours in all maps show the variance of the geopotential height as an index of the storm tracks. Contour interval is 4 × 103 m2. Note that all quantities except for the variance of the geopotential height are divided by the square root of ρ0.

Citation: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 70, 6; 10.1175/JAS-D-12-0138.1

These results indicate that the divergences of 3D-flux-M correspond to the wave forcing causing the 3D residual mean flow associated with the disturbances and that 3D-flux-W describes the wave propagation. The difference between 3D-flux-M and 3D-flux-W is large around the storm tracks. The storm-track region corresponds to the region where the energy of the Rossby waves is large since Fu agrees with under the small Rossby number assumption. Thus, in those regions, we should use 3D-flux-M to examine the 3D residual mean flow associated with the disturbances and use 3D-flux-W to describe the wave propagation. Note that since the 3D wave activity flux for the inertia–gravity waves precisely agrees with 3D-flux-W (section 3a), the analysis of the 3D residual mean flow associated with inertia–gravity waves gives the same results as section 5 in Kinoshita and Sato (2013).

5. Concluding remarks

In this study, we have formulated a 3D wave activity flux (3D-flux-W) that is proportional to the group velocity. 3D-flux-W and 3D-flux-M, whose divergence describes the wave forcing to the mean flow by Kinoshita and Sato (2013), differ by an additional term. A unified dispersion relation for inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves and the modified wave activity density have been formulated in order to relate 3D-flux-W to the group velocity. The modified wave activity density agrees with the wave activity density for inertia–gravity waves under the constant Coriolis parameter assumption and agrees with that for Rossby waves under the small Rossby number assumption.

Next, we examined the relation between 3D-flux-W and the other 3D wave activity flux. It was shown that 3D-flux-W is equal to 3D IG-flux when the Coriolis parameter is constant and is equal to 3D QG-flux when the Rossby number is small. Thus, 3D-flux-W describes the propagation of both inertia–gravity waves and Rossby waves.

To examine the difference between 3D-flux-M and 3D-flux-W, an analysis was made of the disturbances in the storm-track region of the upper troposphere in April using the ERA-Interim data. The distribution of the 3D-flux-M divergence is in good agreement with the meridional component of the 3D residual mean flow associated with the disturbances that were derived by Kinoshita and Sato (2013), while the divergence of 3D-flux-W is slightly different from that in the upstream and downstream regions of the storm tracks. On the other hand, the direction and magnitude of 3D-flux-W are in good agreement with those of Plumb’s wave activity flux describing the wave propagation, while 3D-flux-M is different from that around the storm tracks. The formulas of Hoskins et al. (1983), Trenberth (1986), Plumb (1986), Miyahara (2006), Kinoshita et al. (2010), Noda (2010), and this study are summarized and compared in Kinoshita and Sato (2013, their Table 1).

It is important to note that the difference between the formulas of Kinoshita et al. (2010) and those of this study is . This term becomes equal to under the constant Coriolis parameter assumption and under the small Rossby number assumption, suggesting that the difference is due to the Rossby waves. Similarly, the difference between 3D-flux-M and 3D-flux-W (Fu in the zonal component) is also due to the Rossby waves and is equivalent to the Rossby wave energy for a small Rossby number limit.

The analysis performed in this article focused the 3D wave activity flux associated with synoptic-scale disturbances in the storm-track region. For future work, other types of waves should be analyzed. It should be noted that 3D-flux-W is derived by using small-amplitude theory in a slowly varying mean flow and is not applicable to atmospheric waves whose amplitudes increase quickly, such as unstable waves. It is also important to note that 3D-flux-W should not be applied near the critical level since the modified wave activity density diverges.

Nevertheless, our formulation and Kinoshita and Sato (2013) are applicable to both Rossby waves and inertia–gravity waves. It is emphasized again that the 3D wave activity flux corresponding to the wave forcing to the mean flow is different from that describing the wave propagation in the zonal component, though the difference in their divergence is small. Thus, we need to use 3D-flux-M for the analysis of 3D mass transport and 3D-flux-W for the analysis of wave propagation.

Acknowledgments

We thank Matthew H. Hitchman and R. Alan Plumb for their helpful comments and fruitful discussions. ERA-Interim data were used for the analysis. Yoshihiro Tomikawa and Kazue Suzuki helped in the treatment. Thanks are due to Rolando R. Garcia, M. Joan Alexander, and an anonymous reviewer for constructive comments. The GFD-DENNOU library was used for drawing figures. This study is supported by Grand-in-Aid for Research Fellow (22-7125) of the JSPS and by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 22340134 of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Technology, Japan.

APPENDIX

Formulas in the Spherical Coordinates

By using longitude λ, latitude φ, and Earth’s radius a, the transformed time-mean zonal momentum equation (4.1) and in (4.2) on the sphere are expressed as follows:
ea.1a
ea.1b
ea.1c
ea.1d
ea.1e
The 3D residual mean flow on the sphere is expressed as follows:
ea.2a
ea.2b
ea.2c
The time-mean balanced flow equations in (4.3) on the sphere is written as
ea.3a
ea.3b
The relation between and divergence of in (4.4) on the sphere is written as follows:
ea.4

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