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Original Research Papers

Utility of Hovmöller diagrams to diagnose Rossby wave trains

Authors:

Ilona Glatt ,

Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mainz, DE
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Andreas Dörnbrack,

Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Oberpfaffenhofen, DE
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Sarah Jones,

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (IMK-TRO), Karlsruhe, DE
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Julia Keller,

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (IMK-TRO), Karlsruhe, DE
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O. Martius,

Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, Bern, CH
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Aurelia Müller,

Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (IMK-TRO), Karlsruhe, DE
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Dieter H. W. Peters,

Leibniz-Institut für Atmosphärenphysik e.V., Universität Rostock, Kühlungsborn, DE
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Volkmar Wirth

Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Mainz, DE
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Abstract

The study investigates and compares various methods that aim to diagnose Rossby wave trains with the help of Hovmöller diagrams. Three groups of methods are distinguished: The first group contains trough-and-ridge Hovmöller diagrams of the meridional wind; they provide full phase information, but differ in the method for latitudinal averaging or weighting. The second group aims to identify Rossby wave trains as a whole, discounting individual troughs and ridges. The third group contains diagnostics which focus on physical mechanisms during the different phases of a Rossby wave train life cycle; they include the analysis of eddy kinetic energy and methods for quantifying Rossby wave breaking.

The different methods are analysed and systematically compared with each other in the framework of a two-month period in fall 2008. Each method more or less serves its designed purpose, but they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Notable differences between the individual methods render an objective identification of a Rossby wave train somewhat elusive. Nevertheless, the combination of several techniques provides a rather comprehensive picture of the Rossby wave train life cycle, being broadly consistent with the expected behaviour from previous theoretical analysis.

How to Cite: Glatt, I., Dörnbrack, A., Jones, S., Keller, J., Martius, O., Müller, A., Peters, D.H.W. and Wirth, V., 2011. Utility of Hovmöller diagrams to diagnose Rossby wave trains. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 63(5), pp.991–1006. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2011.00541.x
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  Published on 01 Jan 2011
 Accepted on 12 Jul 2011            Submitted on 23 Dec 2010

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