A Study of Subsynoptic Scale Energy Transformations

DONALD H. McINNIS Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.

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ERNEST C. KUNG Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Missouri, Columbia, Mo.

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Abstract

Kinetic energy transformations from the view-point of energetics of the large-scale circulation are investigated with a series of subsynoptic scale radiosonde network soundings. Individual terms of the kinetic energy equation are evaluated along with the gradient form of the Richardson number.

A bimodal character of the vertical profile of kinetic energy generation having maxima in the upper and lower troposphere that is similar to what we observe in the genera1 circulation-scale disturbances is observed in the subsynoptic scale disturbances studied. However, the inflow of kinetic energy into the area indicates that, on the average, more kinetic energy could be dissipated than generated even during intense thunderstorm activity. Large pulsations of kinetic energy generation and dissipation with time are observed. Extrema of upper level generation are observed to occur mainly in layers where the Richardson number is relatively low.

Now at Southwest Missouri State College, Springfield

Abstract

Kinetic energy transformations from the view-point of energetics of the large-scale circulation are investigated with a series of subsynoptic scale radiosonde network soundings. Individual terms of the kinetic energy equation are evaluated along with the gradient form of the Richardson number.

A bimodal character of the vertical profile of kinetic energy generation having maxima in the upper and lower troposphere that is similar to what we observe in the genera1 circulation-scale disturbances is observed in the subsynoptic scale disturbances studied. However, the inflow of kinetic energy into the area indicates that, on the average, more kinetic energy could be dissipated than generated even during intense thunderstorm activity. Large pulsations of kinetic energy generation and dissipation with time are observed. Extrema of upper level generation are observed to occur mainly in layers where the Richardson number is relatively low.

Now at Southwest Missouri State College, Springfield

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