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Parameterization of directional absorption of orographic gravity waves and its impact on the atmospheric general circulation simulated by the Weather Research and Forecasting Model

Xu, X., Xue, M., Teixeira, M. A. C., Tang, J. and Wang, Y. (2019) Parameterization of directional absorption of orographic gravity waves and its impact on the atmospheric general circulation simulated by the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 76 (11). pp. 3435-3453. ISSN 1520-0469

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-18-0365.1

Abstract/Summary

In this work, a new parameterization scheme is developed to account for the directional absorption of orographic gravity waves (OGWs) using elliptical mountain wave theory. The vertical momentum transport of OGWs is addressed separately for waves with different orientations through decomposition of the total wave momentum flux (WMF) into individual wave components. With the new scheme implemented in the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, the impact of directional absorption of OGWs on the general circulation in boreal winter is studied for the first time. The results show that directional absorption can change the vertical distribution of OGW forcing, while maintaining the total column-integrated forcing. In general, directional absorption inhibits wave breaking in the lower troposphere, producing weaker orographic gravity wave drag (OGWD) there and transporting more WMF upwards. This is because directional absorption can stabilize OGWs by reducing the local wave amplitude. Owing to the increased WMF from below, the OGWD in the upper troposphere at midlatitudes is enhanced. However, in the stratosphere of mid-to-high latitudes, the OGWD is still weakened due to greater directional absorption occurring there. Changes in the distribution of midlatitude OGW forcing are found to weaken the tropospheric jet locally and enhance the stratospheric polar night jet remotely. The latter occurs as the adiabatic warming (associated with the OGW-induced residual circulation) is increased at midlatitudes and suppressed at high latitudes, giving rise to stronger thermal contrast. Resolved waves are likely to contribute to the enhancement of polar stratospheric winds as well, because their upward propagation into the high-latitude stratosphere is suppressed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:85632
Uncontrolled Keywords:Gravity wave drag, Atmospheric general circulation, Vertical wind shear, wave momentum flux
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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