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Baroclinic adjustment and dissipative control of storm tracks

Novakova, L., Ambaum, M. H. P. and Harvey, B. J. (2018) Baroclinic adjustment and dissipative control of storm tracks. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 75 (9). pp. 2955-2970. ISSN 1520-0469

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-17-0210.1

Abstract/Summary

The steady-state response of a mid-latitude storm track to large-scale extratropical thermal forcing and eddy friction is investigated in a dry general circulation model with a zonally symmetric forcing. A two-way equilibration is found between the relative responses of the mean baroclinicity and baroclinic eddy intensity, whereby mean baroclinicity responds more strongly to eddy friction whereas eddy intensity responds more strongly to the thermal forcing of baroclinicity. These seemingly counter-intuitive responses are reconciled using the steady state of a predator-prey relationship between baroclinicity and eddy intensity. This relationship provides additional support for the well studied mechanism of baroclinic adjustment in the Earth’s atmosphere, as well as providing a new mechanism whereby eddy dissipation controls the large-scale thermal structure of a baroclinically unstable atmosphere. It is argued that these two mechanisms of baroclinic adjustment and dissipative control should be used in tandem when considering storm track equilibration.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:77791
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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