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Convectively Generated Gravity Waves In The Tropical Stratosphere: Case Studies And Importance For The Circulation Of The Middle AtmosphereThe advent of high altitude aircraft measurements in the stratosphere over tropical convective systems has made it possible to observe the mesoscale disturbances in the temperature field that these systems excite. Such measurements show that these disturbances have horizontal scales comparable to those of the underlying anvils (about 50-100 km) with peak to peak theta surface variations of about 300-400 meters. Moreover, correlative wind measurements from the tropical phase of the Stratosphere-Troposphere Exchange Project (STEP) clearly show that these disturbances are gravity waves. We present two case studies of anvil-scale gravity waves over convective systems. Using steady and time-dependent linear models of gravity wave propagation in the stratosphere, we show: (1) that the underlying convective systems are indeed the source of the observed phenomena; and (2) that their generating mechanism can be crudely represented as flow over a time-dependent mountain. We will then discuss the effects gravity waves of the observed amplitudes have on the circulation of the middle atmosphere, particularly the quasi-biennial, and semiannual oscillations.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pfister, Leonhard
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Chan, Kwoklong R.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Gary, Bruce
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Singh, Hanwant B.
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1995
Subject Category
Meeting Information
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics XXI General Assembly(Boulder, CO)
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 464-34-17-10
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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