An evaluation of gravity waves and gravity wave sources in the Southern Hemisphere in a 7 km global climate simulation

Holt, L. A., M. J. Alexander, L. Coy, C. Liu, A. Molod, W. Putman, and S. Pawson
Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society , 2017

Abstract

In this study, gravity waves (GWs) in the high-resolution GEOS-5 Nature Run are first evaluated with respect to satellite and other model results. Southern Hemisphere winter sources of non-orographic GWs in the model are then investigated by linking measures of tropospheric non-orographic gravity wave generation tied to precipitation and frontogenesis with absolute gravity wave momentum flux in the lower stratosphere. Finally, non-orographic GW momentum flux is compared to orographic gravity wave momentum flux and compared to previous estimates. The results show that the global patterns in GW amplitude, horizontal wavelength, and propagation direction are realistic compared to observations. However, as in other global models, the amplitudes are weaker and horizontal wavelengths longer than observed. The global patterns in absolute GW momentum flux also agree well with previous model and observational estimates. The evaluation of model non-orographic GW sources in the Southern Hemisphere winter shows that strong intermittent precipitation (greater than 10 mm h−1) is associated with GW momentum flux over the South Pacific, whereas frontogenesis and less intermittent, lower precipitation rates (less than 10 mm h−1) are associated with GW momentum flux near 60°S. In the model, orographic GWs contribute almost exclusively to a peak in zonal mean momentum flux between 70 and 75°S, while non-orographic waves dominate at 60°S, and non-orographic GWs contribute a third to a peak in zonal mean momentum flux between 25 and 30°S.


Citation

Holt, L. A., M. J. Alexander, L. Coy, C. Liu, A. Molod, W. Putman, and S. Pawson (2017), An evaluation of gravity waves and gravity wave sources in the Southern Hemisphere in a 7 km global climate simulation, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 143(707), 2481-2495. https://dx.doi.org/10.1002/qj.3101.