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Note of Hoskins 1985: On the use and significance of isentropic potential vorticity maps

Note of Hoskins 1985: On the use and significance of isentropic potential vorticity maps

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Chapter 2

Potential vorticity is defined as

1~

P := ζa · ∇λ (2.1)

ρ

where λ is a scalar quatity.

We use the vorticity equation, continuity equation and a scalar quantity equation

dζ~a

~ −∇ × 1 ∇p

= ζ~a · ∇ ~u − ζ~a (∇ · ~u) + |{z}

K (2.2a)

dt ρ

~

∇×F

dρ

+ ρ (∇ · ~u) = 0 (2.2b)

dt

dλ

= λ̇ (2.2c)

dt

to derive the potential vorticity equation

dP 1 1~ 1

= ζ~a · ∇λ̇ + K · ∇λ + 3 ∇λ · (∇ρ × ∇p) (2.3)

dt ρ ρ ρ

dP 1 1~

= ζ~a · ∇θ̇ + K · ∇θ (2.4)

dt ρ ρ

dP

=0 (2.5)

dt

The equation above shows that PV can be used as a tracer under adabatic and frictionless condition.

2.2 PV Budget

If we integrate whole space of ρ × (2.4), using the fact that ∇ · ζ~a = ∇ · K

~ =0

Z Z

d

ρP dτ = θ̇ζ~a + θK

~ + ρP~u · dA ~ (2.6)

dt Γ ∂Γ

1

The equation above shows that any influence inside the space only redistributes PV, while heating and

forcing on the boundary really changes the net PV.

If the fluid is incompressible and has no structure on z direction, then

1~ ∂θ

P= ζa · k̂ (2.7)

ρ ∂z

Z top Z top

Pρ dz = ζ~a · k̂ dθ (2.8)

bot bot

ζ~a · k̂

= P ρ∆θ = const (2.9)

∆z

which assumed frictionless atmosphere. This is deried by Rossby in 1939.

2.4 Comments

2.4.1 Desity in θ space

Note that the static stability σ can be viewed as air density in θ space.

−1 ∂p −1 ∂p

σ ∂θ = ∂θ = ∂z = ρ ∂z (2.10)

g ∂θ g ∂z

2

Chapter 3

An Invertibility Example

3.1 Theory

To qualitatively illustrate the idea of invertibility of P, we start from an axisymmetric system in cylindrical

coorinate on f -plane where all quantities are independent of azimuthal angle.

The core concept of invertibility is thermal wind relation. Here we choose the Montgomery potential:

M := Cp T + φ (3.1)

One can readily get the origin of this potential from the combinition of thermodynamic equation and hydro-

static approximation:

Cp dT = dQ + αdp (3.2)

∂p ∂p

Cp dT = Πdθ + α dz + dr (3.3)

∂z ∂r

∂p

⇒ dM = Πdθ + α dr (3.4)

∂r

where Π := Cp T /θ. For now we limit ourselves in adiabatic system. Further, if we blend in the radial part

of balanced momentum equation, we derive the following:

v

dM = Πdθ + f + vdr (3.5)

r

So M = M (r, θ). This suggests we work on isentropic surface. Tthe following relation is quickly implied.

∂M ∂M

=Π (3.6) = floc v (3.7)

∂θ r ∂r θ

Thermal wind relation is thus

∂p ∂v

R = floc (3.8)

∂r θ ∂θ r

P := σ −1 ζaθ (3.9)

where

3

∂p

σ := −g −1 >0 (3.10) ζaθ := f + ζθ (3.11)

∂θ

∂rv

ζθ = (3.12)

r∂r

∂(3.9)

We can get the desired second-order partial differential equation by ∂r

(A) (B)

z }| { z}|{

∂P 1 ∂ζaθ ζaθ ∂σ

= − 2 (3.13)

∂r σ ∂r σ ∂r

∂ ∂rv P ∂ floc ∂v ∂P

⇒ + =σ (3.14)

∂r r∂r g ∂θ R ∂θ ∂r

floc P > 0 (3.15)

3.2 Discussion

3.2.1 Scaling Effect

If we further approximate the coefficients

floc ≈ ζaθ ≈ f, R ≈ Rref (θ), σ ≈ σref (θ) (3.16)

(3.14) reduces to

f2 ∂

∂ ∂rv 1 ∂v ∂P

+ = σref (3.17)

∂r r∂r gσref ∂θ Rref ∂ θ ∂r

If Rref , σref are both constant (or nearly constant), it can be seen that the following scaling θ = ∆θ θ∗

fL fL

∆θ ∼ √ (cf. H ∼ ) (3.18)

Rgσ N

is needed if PV structure is to be equally important in both horizontal and vertical direction.

As for its original version (3.14), the scaling is

s √

Pfloc L Pfloc σ

∆θ ∼ L (cf. H ∼ ) (3.19)

Rg N

We denote this scale by ∆θRossby .

Of course non-Boussinesq effect becomes important if the scale exceeds the scale of reference-density height

∆θdensity . The proper scaling is as follows (Rossby 1938):

(

min {∆θ

n Rossby , ∆θdensity }2 ,oor ∆H ∼ min {HnRossby , Hdensity } 2(downward penetration)

∆θ ∼ (∆θRossby ) (HRossby )

o (3.20)

min ∆θRossby , ∆θdensity , or ∆H ∼ min HRossby , Hdensity (upward penetration)

The scaling (3.19) tells that the larger the horizontal scale is, the deeper the vertical scale becomes (the

larger the deeper). This is so-called “scaling effect” which makes the coarse-grain IPV map dynamically

meaningful.

4

3.2.2 PV Partitioning

PV is partly stored as static stability and partly absolute vorticity. This partitioning must occur otherwise

it breaks the thermal wind relation.

1. Circulation is the balanced vortex has the same sence relative to the earth.

2. Induced fields penetrate vertically above and below the IPV anomaly roughly as (3.20) describes.

3. Static stability, as well as absolute vorticity, is anomalously high within a high PV anomaly, and low

within a low PV anomaly, relative to the static stability of the reference state.

4. Following the above, the static stability anomalies in the regions “above” and “below” the PV anomaly

have oppisite sense.

1. Balanced state.

~ · d~rh

= Πdθ − f k̂ × V (3.21)

This gives

∂M ~

∇θ M = −f k̂ × V (3.23)

=Π (3.22)

∂θ

~

∂V dΠ

R∇θ p = −f k̂ × , R(p) := (3.24)

∂θ dp

Next, notice that

~ = 1 k̂ × ∇θ M

V (3.25)

f

we find that

1 2

ζaθ = f + ∇ M (3.26)

f θ

By the definition of PV (3.9),

1 1 2

P= f + ∇θ M (3.27)

σ f

This is the general version of invertibility principle. Its elliptic condition is suprisingly

5

1~ ~ 1

PV energy K := V · V = 2 ∇M · ∇M (3.29)

2 2f

Notice that this means the PV intensity strengthens when they superposed such that |∇M | becomes greater.

1

PV anomaly P0 = P − Pref = ∇ (M − Mref ) (3.30)

σref f

κ

p

Π = Cp ⇒ κ ln p − κ ln ps = ln Π − ln Cp (3.31)

ps

∂p p ∂Π 1 ∂2M

= = (3.32)

∂θ κΠ ∂ θ κR ∂ θ2

So we transform (3.9) into similar versioin of (3.14)

∂2

2

∇ + P 2 M = −f 2

e (3.33)

∂θ

where

e = fP =

P

ps 1

Π ν−1 (3.34)

gκR 1/κ

gκCp

The scale of penetration is easily seen

1/2

fP

∆θ ∼ LP

e∼L (3.35)

gκR

If we seperate (3.33) into reference state which satisfies

∂2

2

∇ + Pref 2 Mref = −f 2

e (3.36)

∂θ

∂2 ∂2 ∂ 2 Mref

∇ + Pref 2 M 0 = −P 0 2 (Mref + M 0 ) ≈ −P 0

2 e (3.37)

∂θ ∂θ ∂ θ2

The equation above shows the ability to add two PV anomalies together, which is exactly the superposition

principle.

If we let Peref ≈ const. Define a new coordinate Θ := θ(Peref )−1/2 . Then in the new coordinate x, y and Θ

we have:

P0 ∂ 2 Mref

∇2 M 0 = − (3.38)

Peref ∂ Θ2

Here ∇ denotes three-dimensional gradient operator.

If we let PV anomaly be a delta function at origin, i.e.

P0 = P0 δ 3 (~r) (3.39)

6

Integrate (3.38) within a sphere Γ centered at origin with radius r, apply divergence theorem:

Z 0 2

∇M · dA ~ = − P0 ∂ Mref (3.40)

∂Γ Peref ∂ Θ2

Since this system is spherical symmetric, the integral can simply become 4πr2 ∇

7

Chapter 4

For the sake of superposition ability of (3.27), it is easy to see that the advection of lower airstream cannot

affect the wind field induced by PV anomaly in higher atmosphere.

If we examine this situation in terms of vorticity budget (in xyp-coordinate)

∂ζap ~ ∂ω ~

∂V ∂ζap

+ V · ∇p ζap = ζap +k̂ · × ∇p ω − ω (4.1)

∂t ∂p ∂p ∂p

| {z }

Dominant balance

It means the stronger the advection is, the stronger the stretching becomes. For example, if the PV anomaly

is positive and stationary, the circulation is generally cyclonic (ζap > 0). To compensate for the vorticity

advection [−V ~ · ∇p ζap < 0(> 0) in the up(down)stream part] in the lower atmosphere there will be large

∂ω/∂p > 0(< 0) in up(down)stream. This is confirmed by the example shown in paper.

8

Chapter 5

Anomalies on Boundary

5.1.1 “Pseudo” Potential Vorticity

In QG theory, there is a similar but different quantity called “pseudo potential vorticity” that resembles PV.

It can be written in pressure coordinates in the form

θ0

~ + f0 ∂

q := f + k̂ · ∇p × V (5.1)

∂p dθref /dp

Charney and Sterm expressed q in terms of the geostrophic streamfunction

ψ 0 = f0−1 (φ − φref ) (5.2)

∂φ ∂ψ 0

= −Rθ ⇒ = −f0−1 Rθ0 (5.3)

∂p ∂p

Lg (ψ 0 ) = q − qref (5.4)

where

N2

∂ ∂ dθref

Lg := ∇2p + f02 N−2 and N2 = −R = 2 ref (5.5)

∂p ∂p dp g ρ2ref

This set of equations above in quasi-geostrophic theory is the key to relate the temperature anomaly and

potential vorticity.

Assume a case where at ground p = p0 . The boundary condition of potential temperature anomaly is

θ0 (p0 ) = θ00 , i.e. :

∂ψ 0

= −f0−1 Rθ00 (5.6)

∂p p0

We directly see that this implies a contribution to pseudo-potential vorticity from temperature anomaly. If

we let θ0 be

θ0 = Θ0 lim H (p − p0 + ) (5.7)

→0

where H(p) is a heavy-side function (

0, if x > 0

H (x) = (5.8)

1, otherwise

9

One can add a contribution ∆ψ to ψ 0 in order to mantain θ00 = 0

∂ψ 0 + ∆ψ ∂∆ψ

=0 ⇒ = f0−1 Rθ00 = f0−1 RΘ0 lim H (p − p0 + ) (5.9)

∂p ∂p →0

This implies a pulse contribution δ to PV is needed by multiplying the above with f02 ∂/∂pN−2 ,

∂ lim→0 H (p − p0 + )

Lg (ψ 0 + ∆ψ) = q − qref + f0 Θ0 (5.10)

∂p dθref /dp

−1

dθref

= q − qref + f0 Θ0 lim δ (p − p0 + ) (5.11)

dp →0

5.1.2 Importance

Quasi-geostrophic theory are inaccurate for quantitative purposes. In particular the assumption of small

deviations from the ferefence stratification is vary inaccurate indeed near the tropopause. However, the link

with quasi-geostrophic theory makes evident the central role of potential vorticity in many processes such

as instability, Rossby wave propagation, quasi-two-dimensional turbulence, critical-layer processes, and so on.

Similar formulations in isentropic coordinates can overcome the problem of horizontal nonuniformity at the

inevitable cost of complicating the lower boundary condition.

The main idea stems from the relation between PV and stability, in such a way we can know that differenct

situations actually correspond to the same condition.

In these theories, first we define a continuous linear operator of reference state Lref as

Lref χ(X 0 , Y

~)=P (5.12)

~ . While χ corresponds

where χ may be some kind of scalar that depends on X 0 and some other quantities Y

to wind profile by another operator W

V~ =Wχ (5.13)

~ →Y

Define an equivalent state such that X 0 → 0, Y ~ ∗ , with constraint

h i

Lref χ∗ (X 0 = 0, Y

~ ∗) = P (5.14)

From invertibility principle, we directly see that χ∗ = χ, thus Y

of the whole chapter.

In IPV thoery we have learned, the reference operator is defined as

1 1 2

Lref M = f + ∇θ M (5.15)

σref f

where χ = M = Cp T + φ. Wind profile operator is defined as

W = k̂ × ∇θ (5.16)

10

T Anomaly On the Ground ≈ Height Anomaly

From the argument above we note that X 0 = T 0 and Y ~ = φ. It is clear that a reduction in T 0 must increase

φ. This implies isentropic must lifted to higher altitude in general. This is just the same as if there is a

mountain with an isentrope is just above the ground.

11

Chapter 6

Rossby wave comes from the conservation of vorticity on a β-plane:

∂ ∂

+u ζ 0 + v0 β = 0 (6.1)

∂t ∂x

∂u0 ∂v 0

Under the continuity equation ∂x + ∂y = 0, let u0 = −∂y Ψ0 and v 0 = ∂x Ψ0 we have ζ 0 = ∇2 Ψ0 . Thus we

can rewrite the equation as:

∂ ∂ ∂ 0

+u ∇2 Ψ0 + β Ψ =0 (6.2)

∂t ∂x ∂x

P

Evaluate by fourier expasion, Ψ = k,l,ω exp i(kx − ωt), we get the dispersion relation

βk β

ω − uk = or c − u = (6.3)

k2 + l2 k2 + l2

In this 2D non-divergent model, we assume

u = u(y) + u0 (6.4a)

v = v0 (6.4b)

∂ ∂ dζ

+u ζ 0 + v0 =0 (6.5)

∂t ∂x dy

∂u0 ∂v 0

Under the continuity equation ∂x + ∂y = 0, let u0 = −∂y Ψ0 and v 0 = ∂x Ψ0 we have ζ 0 = ∇2 Ψ0 . Thus we

can rewrite the equation as:

∂ ∂ dζ ∂ 0

+u ∇ 2 Ψ0 + Ψ =0 (6.6)

∂t ∂x dy ∂ x

Note that this equation is very similar to (6.2). The only difference is the gradient of background vorticity.

12

6.3 Eady Edge Wave

Consider an atmosphere whose boundary condition is that motions at upper and lower boundary are adabatic

. Its thermodynamic equation is

∂ ~g · ∇ θ = 0 (π = π0 , π1 )

+V (6.7)

∂t

u = u(y, π) + u0 (6.8a)

v = v0 (6.8b)

φ = φ(y, π) + φ0 (6.8c)

Since θ = −∂π φ, that means there exists a temperature gradient in the mean state.

~g with geopotential. After linearization, we have

Let’s replace both θ and V

∂ ∂ ∂θ 0

+u θ0 + v =0 (π = π0 , π1 ) (6.9)

∂t ∂x ∂y

∂φ0 ∂θ ∂φ0

∂ ∂

⇒ +u − =0 (π = π0 , π1 ) (6.10)

∂t ∂x ∂π ∂y ∂x

P

klω Φklω (π) exp [i(kx + ly − ωt)], thus we have

−1

dΦ α α dΦ

(c − u) + Φ = 0 or c = u − Φ (π = π0 , π1 ) (6.11)

d π f0 f0 dπ

From above we know that in general the wave propogate to the east relative to the mean flow, and the

dispersion relation is given by vertical profile of mean state Φ(π). If we assume that there is no source and

sink in our system, we have a new constrain q 0 = 0,

1 ∂φ0

0 1 2 0 ∂

q = ∇ φ + f0 =0 (6.12)

f0 ∂π s ∂π

−1 2 ∂ 1 dΦ

k + l2 Φ +

⇒ =0 (6.13)

f02 ∂ π s dπ

−1 " −1 #

1 d2 Φ

dΦ f0 dΦ 1 ∂s

⇒ Φ = 2 − 2 (6.14)

dπ k + l2 s d π 2 dπ s ∂π

Then (6.11) becomes

" −1 #

1 d2 Φ

α dΦ 1 ∂s

c=u− 2 − 2 (π = π0 , π1 ) (6.15)

k + l2 s d π2 dπ s ∂π

The above equation shows that there are 2 forms of wave guide (but essentially they are the same) : the first

kind exists in the trapopause caused by stability s while the second kind is caused by θ anomaly vertical

profile.

13

6.3.1 Instability : Constant Wind Shear

(6.15) shows that if there exists some constrain between c and Φ,

Consider a case in which both the mean state vertical wind shear and stability are constants, i.e.:

∂u ∂θ χ0

= f0 = −f0 α = −χ0 ⇒ α= (6.16a)

∂π ∂y f0

∂θ

s=− = s0 (6.16b)

∂π

These assumptions reduce the problem into

−χ0

Φ = Φ0 exp 2 π (6.17)

f0 (c − u)

14

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