Complex Wavenumber Rossby Wave Ray Tracing
Samelson, R. M.
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CitationShaman, Jeffrey, R. M. Samelson, and Eli Tziperman. 2012. “Complex Wavenumber Rossby Wave Ray Tracing.” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 69 (7): 2112–33. https://doi.org/10.1175/jas-d-11-0193.1.
AbstractThis paper presents a methodology for performing complex wavenumber ray tracing in which both wave trajectory and amplitude are calculated. This ray-tracing framework is first derived using a scaling in which the imaginary wavenumber component is assumed to be much smaller than the real wavenumber component. The approach, based on perturbation methods, is strictly valid when this scaling condition is met. The framework is then used to trace stationary barotropic Rossby waves in a number of settings. First, ray-traced Rossby wave amplitude is validated in a simple, idealized system for which exact solutions can be calculated. Complex wavenumber ray tracing is then applied to both solid-body rotation on a sphere and observed climatological upper-tropospheric fields. These ray-tracing solutions are compared with similarly forced solutions of the linearized barotropic vorticity equation (LBVE). Both real and complex wavenumber ray tracings follow trajectories matched by LBVE solutions. Complex wavenumber ray tracings on observed two-dimensional zonally asymmetric atmospheric fields are found to follow trajectories distinct from real wavenumber Rossby waves. For example, complex wavenumber ray tracings initiated over the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean during boreal summer propagate northward and northeastward into the subtropics over the Atlantic Ocean, as well as southeastward into the Southern Hemisphere. Similarly initiated real wavenumber ray tracings remain within the deep tropics and propagate westward. These complex wavenumber Rossby wave trajectories and ray amplitudes are generally consistent with LBVE solutions, which indicates this methodology can identify Rossby wave effects distinct from traditional real wavenumber tracings.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:41384982
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