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Barotropic Regeneration of upper-level synoptic disturbances in different configurations of the zonal weather regime

Abstract : Barotropic dynamics of upper-tropospheric midlatitude disturbances evolving in different configurations of the zonal weather regime (i.e., in different zonal-like large-scale flows) were studied using observational analyses and barotropic model experiments. The contraction stage of upper-level disturbances that follows their elongation stage leads to an increase of eddy kinetic energy that is called the barotropic regeneration process in this text. This barotropic mechanism is studied through notions of barotropic critical regions (BtCRs) and effective deformation that have been introduced in a previous paper. The effective deformation field is equal to the difference between the square of the large-scale deformation magnitude and the square of the large-scale vorticity. Regions where the effective deformation is positive correspond to regions where the large-scale flow tends to strongly stretch synoptic disturbances. A BtCR is an area separating two large-scale regions of positive effective deformation, one located upstream and on the south side of the jet and the other downstream and on the north side. Such a region presents a discontinuity in the orientation of the dilatation axes and is a potential area where the barotropic regeneration process may occur. Winter days presenting a zonal weather regime in the 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis dataset are decomposed, via a partitioning algorithm, into different configurations of the effective deformation field at 300 hPa. A six-cluster partition is obtained. Composite maps of the barotropic generation rate for each cluster exhibit a succession of negative and positive values on both sides of the BtCRs. It confirms statistically that the barotropic regeneration mechanism occurs preferentially about BtCRs. Numerical experiments using a forced barotropic model on the sphere are performed. Each experiment consists of adding a synoptic-scale perturbation to one of the zonal-like jet configurations found in observations, which is kept fixed with time. The combined effects of the effective deformation and nonlinearities are shown to be crucial to reproduce the barotropic regeneration process about BtCRs.
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Contributor : Bruno Dal Cin <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 18, 2008 - 6:45:10 PM
Last modification on : Monday, April 5, 2021 - 2:26:10 PM


  • HAL Id : meteo-00339773, version 1



Gwendal Rivière. Barotropic Regeneration of upper-level synoptic disturbances in different configurations of the zonal weather regime. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, American Meteorological Society, 2008, pp.3159-3178. ⟨meteo-00339773⟩



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