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Baroclinic waves with parameterized effects of moisture interpreted using Rossby wave components

De Vries, H., Methven, J. ORCID:, Frame, T. H. A. ORCID: and Hoskins, B. J. (2010) Baroclinic waves with parameterized effects of moisture interpreted using Rossby wave components. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 67 (9). pp. 2766-2784. ISSN 1520-0469

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/2010JAS3410.1


A theoretical framework is developed for the evolution of baroclinic waves with latent heat release parameterized in terms of vertical velocity. Both wave–conditional instability of the second kind (CISK) and large-scale rain approaches are included. The new quasigeostrophic framework covers evolution from general initial conditions on zonal flows with vertical shear, planetary vorticity gradient, a lower boundary, and a tropopause. The formulation is given completely in terms of potential vorticity, enabling the partition of perturbations into Rossby wave components, just as for the dry problem. Both modal and nonmodal development can be understood to a good approximation in terms of propagation and interaction between these components alone. The key change with moisture is that growing normal modes are described in terms of four counterpropagating Rossby wave (CRW) components rather than two. Moist CRWs exist above and below the maximum in latent heating, in addition to the upper- and lower-level CRWs of dry theory. Four classifications of baroclinic development are defined by quantifying the strength of interaction between the four components and identifying the dominant pairs, which range from essentially dry instability to instability in the limit of strong heating far from boundaries, with type-C cyclogenesis and diabatic Rossby waves being intermediate types. General initial conditions must also include passively advected residual PV, as in the dry problem.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:17680
Uncontrolled Keywords:Baroclinic flows, Potential vorticity, Quasigeostrophic models, Rossby waves
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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