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Estimates of Atmospheric Angular Momentum, Friction, and Mountain Torques during 1987–1988

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Estimates of Atmospheric Angular Momentum, Friction, and Mountain Torques during 1987–1988

 

Authors:   R. A. Madden and P. Speth

 

First Published:   1st November, 1995

 

Abstract:

Atmospheric angular momentum (M), friction (TF), and mountain torques (TM) are estimated from a 13-month period of European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) data. Cross-spectrum analysis between M and total torques results in high coherence and one-quarter cycle phase angles (TF + TM leading M) for timescales between 5 and 66 days, suggesting that variations of the total torque are reasonably well estimated for these slower variations. However, cross spectra between M and TF, and TM separately reveal that the relatively high coherence is present between M and TF only at periods longer than 20 days. Also comparison with other published values and the considerable lack of balance between TF + TM and M over a full year implies that our estimates of TF, based on the parameterization of surface wind stress in short-term forecasts of the ECMWF, are negatively biased. For the 13-month period, the average bias is about −15.2 Hadleys (1018 kg m2 s−2).

During the period there are a few near 50-day oscillations in the M. Similar variations have been reported before and related to tropical intraseasonal oscillations of the same timescale. Two oscillations in M that are coincident with eastward-propagating cloud complexes of tropical intraseasonal oscillations are examined more closely. It is found that TF and TM work together to alter the M on the 50-day timescale, but that TM's contribution is three times larger than that of TF. During the two oscillations TF, reaches maxima when cloud complexes of tropical intraseasonal oscillations are in the vicinity of 90°E. It then declines but maintains positive anomalies at least until the cloud complexes reach the Central Pacific. The M reaches its maxima shortly thereafter. TM has sharp minima shortly before the cloud complexes are strongly developed in the Indian Ocean. Contributors to these minima are strong cast to west pressure gradients primarily across the Rocky Mountains.

 

Link to full paper:    https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0469(1995)052<3681%3AEOAAMF>2.0.CO%3B2

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