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Type: Journal article
Title: Latitudinal variations observed in gravity waves with short vertical wavelengths
Author: Alexander, M.
Tsuda, T.
Vincent, R.
Citation: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 2002; 59(8):1394-1404
Publisher: Amer Meteorological Soc
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0022-4928
Statement of
Alexander, M. Joan; Tsuda, Toshitaka; Vincent, Robert A.
Abstract: Knowledge of the latitudinal variations in the occurrence of gravity waves is important for their parameter-ization in global models. Observations of gravity waves with short vertical scales have shown a pronounced peak in wave activity at tropical latitudes. In this paper, it is shown that such a peak may be a natural consequence of the latitudinal variation in the Coriolis parameter, which controls the lower limit for gravity-wave intrinsic frequencies &ωcirc;. Two distinct but related effects of this parameter on observations of gravity-wave activity are explained and explored with a simple model. The results are also compared to observed latitudinal variations in gravity-wave activity. The authors formally distinguish between observed gravity-wave spectra and what is called gravity-wave "source spectra," the latter being appropriate for input to gravity-wave parameterizations. The results suggest that the dependence of the gravity-wave energy spectrum commonly assumed as input to parameterizations is likely too steeply sloped. Much more shallowly sloped spectra for gravity-wave parameterization input α&ωcirc;[sup -0.6] &ωcirc;[sup -0.7] show better agreement with observations. The results also underscore the potential importance of intermittency in gravity-wave sources to the interpretation of gravity-wave observations.
Description: © 2002 American Meteorological Society
DOI: 10.1175/1520-0469(2002)059<1394:LVOIGW>2.0.CO;2
Published version:;2
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