Baroclinic wave packets in models and observations

Lee Sukyoung Lee, I. M. Held

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


Coherent baroclinic wave packets are present in the Southern Hemisphere, most clearly in the summer season. These coherent packets are also found in a hierarchy of models of nonlinear baroclinic instability - a two-layer quasigeostrophic (QG) model on a β-plane, a two-level primitive quation (PE) model, and a general circulation model. The flows are chaotic, but the packet itself can remain remarkably coherent, despite the complex evolution of the flow within the packet. In both QG and PE models, the packets become more robust as the supercriticality of the flow is reduced. In both models and the observations, the packets move with a group velocity that is greater than the phase speed of the individual disturbances, so that these disturbances exhibit downstream development. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1413-1428
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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