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1394 VOLUME 59J O U R N A L O F T H E A T M O S P H E R I C S C I E N C E S 2002 American Meteorological Society

Summary: 1394 VOLUME 59J O U R N A L O F T H E A T M O S P H E R I C S C I E N C E S
2002 American Meteorological Society
Latitudinal Variations Observed in Gravity Waves with Short Vertical Wavelengths
Colorado Research Associates Division, NorthWest Research Associates, Inc., Boulder, Colorado
Radio Science Center for Space and Atmosphere, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Department of Physics and Mathematical Physics, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
(Manuscript received 18 October 2000, in final form 17 August 2001)
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 . 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 5/3


Source: Alexander, M. Joan - Colorado Research Associates Division, Northwest Research Associates, Inc.


Collections: Geosciences