• Arakawa, A., , and V. R. Lamb, 1977: Computational design of the basic dynamical processes of the UCLA general circulation model. Methods in Computational Physics, J. Chang, Ed., Vol. 17, Academic Press, 173–265.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arakawa, A., , and M. J. Suarez, 1983: Vertical differencing of the primitive equations in sigma coordinates. Mon. Wea. Rev., 111 , 3445.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arakawa, A., , and S. Moorthi, 1988: Baroclinic instability in vertically discrete systems. J. Atmos. Sci., 45 , 16881707.

  • Charney, J. G., , and N. A. Phillips, 1953: Numerical integration of the quasi-geostrophic equations for barotropic and simple baroclinic flows. J. Meteor., 10 , 7199.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lorenz, E. N., 1960: Energy and numerical weather prediction. Tellus, 12 , 364373.

  • Simmons, A. J., , and D. M. Burridge, 1981: An energy and angular-momentum conserving vertical finite-difference scheme and hybrid vertical coordinates. Mon. Wea. Rev., 109 , 758766.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tokioka, T., 1978: Some considerations on vertical differencing. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 56 , 98111.

  • White, A. A., 2002: A view of the equations of meteorological dynamics and various approximations. Large-Scale Atmosphere–Ocean Dynamics, J. Norbury and I. Roulstone, Eds., Vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, 1–100.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • View in gallery

    Distribution in the vertical of the basic model variables for a perfect gas using p coordinates: (a) the Charney–Phillips grid, (b) the original Lorenz grid, and (c) the modified Lorenz grid

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 14 14 3
PDF Downloads 7 7 2

Conservation of Potential Vorticity on Lorenz Grids

View More View Less
  • 1 Met Office, Bracknell, Berkshire, United Kingdom
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

The quasigeostrophic equations formulated using the Charney–Phillips vertical staggering of variables are well known to possess an analog of the form of conservation of potential vorticity. It is shown that a similar analog is enjoyed by the quasigeostrophic equations formulated using the modified Lorenz staggering of variables.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Michael J. Bell, FOAM Research and Development, Met Office, London Rd., Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 2SZ, United Kingdom. Email: mike.bell@metoffice.com

Abstract

The quasigeostrophic equations formulated using the Charney–Phillips vertical staggering of variables are well known to possess an analog of the form of conservation of potential vorticity. It is shown that a similar analog is enjoyed by the quasigeostrophic equations formulated using the modified Lorenz staggering of variables.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Michael J. Bell, FOAM Research and Development, Met Office, London Rd., Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 2SZ, United Kingdom. Email: mike.bell@metoffice.com

1. Introduction

Arakawa and Moorthi (1988, referred to as AM hereafter) demonstrated that the quasigeostrophic equations formulated using the “Charney–Phillips” vertical staggering of variables possess an analog of conservation of potential vorticity. They also derived a potential vorticity equation formulated using the Lorenz staggering of variables but concluded that rather crude approximations would be needed to derive a similar analog of potential vorticity conservation.

Figure 1a illustrates the Charney–Phillips arrangement of model variables (Charney and Phillips 1953) and Fig. 1b the arrangement introduced by Lorenz (1960), appropriate for a perfect gas when the pressure, p, is chosen for the vertical coordinate. The level number, k, is taken to increase with p, and hence decrease with height z, and the total number of full levels within the domain is denoted by K. In both grids the horizontal velocities, u, v, are stored at the “full” model levels indexed by integer level numbers and the material time derivative of the pressure, ω, is stored at the intermediate “half” levels. Horizontal boundaries, on which ω = 0, are taken to lie at the half levels k = ½ and k = K + ½. On the Charney–Phillips grid the potential temperature, θ, is stored on the half levels while on the Lorenz grid it is stored at the full levels.

On the original Lorenz grid, the geopotential, ϕgz, and the streamfunction of the geostrophic flow, ψ = ϕ/f0, are stored with the density, ρ, on the full levels; f0 is the value of the Coriolis parameter, f, at a reference latitude. For the hydrostatic relation, ∂ϕ/∂p = −1/ρ, it seems more natural to store ϕ (and ψ) on the half levels as in Fig. 1c. This arrangement of variables is usually referred to as the modified Lorenz grid. In this paper a set of equations will be said to use the modified Lorenz grid when the streamfunction at the kth full level, ψk, is given by a linear combination of the streamfunction at the adjacent half levels, ψk+1/2 and ψk−1/2:
ψkαkψk+1/2αkψk−1/2
with the parameter αk depending only on the vertical coordinate. [In (1) and all other equations the index k denotes an integer.]

Tokioka (1978) proposed a formulation using (1) and the formulation of Simmons and Burridge (1981) [on which the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) atmospheric forecasting system has been built] uses the modified Lorenz grid to discretize the primitive equations. Arakawa and Suarez (1983) derived a family of schemes for the primitive equations that use the modified Lorenz grid. By contrast, the original formulations of Lorenz (1960) for balanced models and Arakawa and Lamb (1977) for the primitive equations specified the streamfunction at the half levels as a linear combination of those at adjoining full levels.

This paper derives analogs of the conservation of potential vorticity for quasigeostrophic equations discretized using the modified Lorenz grid, similar to those enjoyed by the Charney–Phillips grid.

The quasigeostrophic and the primitive equations for a perfect gas can be written in a number of vertical coordinate systems. Pressure coordinates have been chosen for the main derivation here to aid comparison with AM. An analogous derivation in height coordinates is outlined in section 3. Section 4 provides a summary.

2. Derivation of conservation of potential vorticity in pressure coordinates

a. Statement of the quasigeostrophic form of the equations

Following AM, the quasigeostrophic equations that will be discretized are
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e2
Here ∂/∂t,h, and 2h are, respectively, the time derivative, horizontal gradient, and horizontal Laplacian operators, evaluated at constant pressure; vg is the geostrophic velocity; S is a static stability parameter defined by
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e4
and ρ and θ are the density and potential temperatures fields of the basic stratified state, which depends only on p. The rate of change with time of any variable, φ, following the geostrophic flow vg at level k, will be variously written as
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e5
In the last of these expressions, J(ψ, φ) denotes the Jacobian operator, which in Cartesian horizontal coordinates x, y is given by
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e6
The main property of the Jacobian that will be used is that J(ψ, φ) = −J(φ, ψ), which implies that J(φ, φ) = 0.
Centering (2) and (3) at full levels, their simplest discretizations (in the vertical) are
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e7
The superscripted variables Sb and Sc have been introduced in (8) to cover two cases. Arakawa and Moorthi (1988) derive (8) from the flux form of the thermodynamic equation, in which case Sbk+1/2 is related to Sk+1/2 and Sck−1/2 to Sk−1/2. Setting Sbk+1/2 = Sck−1/2 = Sk is a simpler alternative.

b. Derivation of the conservation of potential vorticity

The potential vorticity equation is formed from the combination of (7) and (8) for levels k and k + 1 which eliminates ωk−1/2, ωk+1/2, and ωk+3/2. This combination gives
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e9
where
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e10
Note that when Sbk+1/2 = Sck−1/2 = Sk, ak = ½ and bk = Δpk+1/(2Δpk). Defining
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e11
by simple substitution of (10) in (11) one obtains
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e12
This is an accurate representation of the partial derivative form of the stretching component of the potential vorticity, f20∂/∂p[(1/S)(∂ψ/∂p)], evaluated at level k + ½.
The main point of this note is that the advection of the vortex stretching terms in the potential vorticity equation can be reexpressed as the advection of Rk+1/2 by the geostrophic velocity at level k + ½. Using (1) and the properties of the Jacobian
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e13
Similarly,
Jψk+1ψk+3/2ψk+1/2Jψk+1/2ψk+3/2
Using (13) and (14) in (9) and then the definition (11), one can show that
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e15
This relationship, describing the conservation of potential vorticity, is the main one derived in this paper. At this point it has been derived only for levels k = 2, … K − 2. Note that no approximations have been made in deriving (15) from (7) and (8) and that (15) applies whatever choices are made for αk in (1) and for variables Sb and Sc in (8). The relationship is not quite as desirable as the corresponding one obtained by AM for the Charney–Phillips grid because the vorticities are advected at their own levels (k and k + 1) rather than by a common velocity at level k + ½. As AM remark, the potential vorticity on the Lorenz grid is defined at the “half” levels.

c. Derivation of equations near the boundaries

At the upper boundary ω1/2 = 0, so from (7) and (8)
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e16
Eliminating ω3/2,
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e18
which can be interpreted as expressing the conservation of the generalized form of potential vorticity at level 1 (AM, section 4).
Conservation relations centered at level 3/2 may be obtained by eliminating ω5/2 from (7) and (8) evaluated with k = 2,
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e19
and using (16) and/or (17) in (19) to substitute for ω3/2. Arakawa and Moorthi (1988) used (17). An alternative is to use equal contributions from (16) and (17), which gives (9) for k = 1 with
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e20
For the choice Sbk+1/2 = Sck−1/2 = Sk, the coefficients agree with (10) evaluated with k = 1 and the expression for Rk+1/2, (12), also holds for k = 1. The derivation of (15) for k = 1 can be repeated regardless of the choices of Sbk+1/2 and Sck−1/2.

Expressions corresponding to (18) and (20) may be derived for k = K − 1.

3. Derivation in height coordinates

White (2002, section 10.2) provides a set of quasigeostrophic equations in z coordinates for a perfect, hydrostatic gas with which the above derivations can be repeated. His set reduces to
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e21
Here ŵ is an extended vertical velocity related to the standard vertical velocity, w, by
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e23
N2 ≡ (g/θ)(dθ/dz) is the Brunt–Väisälä frequency; g is the local acceleration by gravity and all horizontal derivatives are evaluated at constant height. Choosing the most straightforward discretization with level number increasing with height, one obtains
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e24
which are similar but not quite identical in form to (7) and (8). Repeating the derivations (without making approximations) one reobtains (15) for k = 2, … , K − 2 with
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e26
in place of (10)–(12). Note that Rk+1/2 is a good analog for the continuous form of potential vorticity, which is (f20/ρ)(∂/∂z)[(ρ/N2)(∂ψ/∂z)]. Taking w1/2 = 0 as the lower boundary coundition, in place of (18) one obtains
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e28
One can also re-obtain (15) for k = 1 with
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e29
If instead the natural lower boundary condition, w1/2 = 0, is used, combination of (24) and (25) yields:
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e31
Using the facts that ∂ψ1/2/∂t = Dg1/2ψ1/2/Dt and J(ψ1, ψ3/2ψ1/2) = J(ψ1/2, ψ3/2ψ1/2), (31) can be expressed as a conservation relation:
i1520-0493-131-7-1498-e32
For this case ρ1/2 and N21 must be specified to determine (24) and (25) for k = 1, so the derivation of (15) leading to (26) and (27) applies also for k = 1 and k = K − 1.

4. Summary

Analogs of the conservation of potential vorticity conservation have been derived (without making any approximations) for two sets of discretized quasigeostrophic equations, one formulated in pressure coordinates and the other in z coordinates. Both sets use the modified Lorenz grid in which the streamfunction at full levels is given in terms of those at adjacent half levels by (1). In pressure coordinates the governing equations are (7) and (8) and the analog of potential vorticity conservation is (15), which applies for k = 1, … , K − 1. The quantities in (15) are given by (10) and (11) for k = 2, … , K − 2 and by (11) and (20) for the upper boundary (k = 1). The analog of the conservation of generalized potential vorticity at the upper boundary is given by (18). In height coordinates the governing equations are (24) and (25). The analog of potential vorticity conservation is again (15), which applies for k = 1, … , K − 1 with its quantities being given by (26) and (27). The analog of the conservation of generalized potential vorticity at the lower boundary is given by (28) when the boundary condition is taken to be w1/2 = 0, and by (32) when the natural boundary condition w1/2 = 0, is used.

Acknowledgments

This paper benefited greatly from discussions with Andrew Staniforth and Andy White.

REFERENCES

  • Arakawa, A., , and V. R. Lamb, 1977: Computational design of the basic dynamical processes of the UCLA general circulation model. Methods in Computational Physics, J. Chang, Ed., Vol. 17, Academic Press, 173–265.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arakawa, A., , and M. J. Suarez, 1983: Vertical differencing of the primitive equations in sigma coordinates. Mon. Wea. Rev., 111 , 3445.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Arakawa, A., , and S. Moorthi, 1988: Baroclinic instability in vertically discrete systems. J. Atmos. Sci., 45 , 16881707.

  • Charney, J. G., , and N. A. Phillips, 1953: Numerical integration of the quasi-geostrophic equations for barotropic and simple baroclinic flows. J. Meteor., 10 , 7199.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lorenz, E. N., 1960: Energy and numerical weather prediction. Tellus, 12 , 364373.

  • Simmons, A. J., , and D. M. Burridge, 1981: An energy and angular-momentum conserving vertical finite-difference scheme and hybrid vertical coordinates. Mon. Wea. Rev., 109 , 758766.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tokioka, T., 1978: Some considerations on vertical differencing. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 56 , 98111.

  • White, A. A., 2002: A view of the equations of meteorological dynamics and various approximations. Large-Scale Atmosphere–Ocean Dynamics, J. Norbury and I. Roulstone, Eds., Vol. 1, Cambridge University Press, 1–100.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Distribution in the vertical of the basic model variables for a perfect gas using p coordinates: (a) the Charney–Phillips grid, (b) the original Lorenz grid, and (c) the modified Lorenz grid

Citation: Monthly Weather Review 131, 7; 10.1175/1520-0493(2003)131<1498:COPVOL>2.0.CO;2

Save