Turbulent Flow in Two and Three Dimensions

H. Tennekes Royal Netherlands Meteorological, Institute, de Bilt, Netherlands

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Three-dimensional turbulence occurs mainly in convective clouds and in the atmospheric boundary layer. Two-dimensional turbulence is a model for the statistical features of large-scale flows in the atmosphere. The differences between two- and three-dimensional turbulence are discussed, with a minimum of mathematics, in terms of elementary vorticity dynamics. The influence of the microstructure on the evolution of the large-scale features of the flow field is explored in some detail. A simple rationale is given for ignoring subgrid scale fluxes in numerical weather prediction.

1 This paper is adapted from a colloquium lecture presented at the University of Washington and at the Oregon State University in the fall of 1976.

Three-dimensional turbulence occurs mainly in convective clouds and in the atmospheric boundary layer. Two-dimensional turbulence is a model for the statistical features of large-scale flows in the atmosphere. The differences between two- and three-dimensional turbulence are discussed, with a minimum of mathematics, in terms of elementary vorticity dynamics. The influence of the microstructure on the evolution of the large-scale features of the flow field is explored in some detail. A simple rationale is given for ignoring subgrid scale fluxes in numerical weather prediction.

1 This paper is adapted from a colloquium lecture presented at the University of Washington and at the Oregon State University in the fall of 1976.

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