2 Figure CO: Chapter 7, Global-Scale Winds--Jet stream from space Image courtesy of the Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.
3 Sailors Understood Global Winds Trade winds off the Atlantic coast of North Africa blow steadily from the northeastFarther north along the coast of Europe the winds typically blow from west to eastAt about 20°S the trade winds blow steadily from the southeastWinds in the horse latitudes (near 30°N and 30°S) are usually light or calm
6 What a description of global winds should explain Steady and calm winds observed by marinersSeasonal patterns of precipitation around the worldSeasonal patterns of cloudiness around the worldThe relationships between average wind patterns and pressure patterns and upward and downward air motionsThe jet streams
7 Figure 05A: Climatology of precipitation (January). Source: MATLAB
8 Figure 05B: Climatology of precipitation (July). Source: MATLAB
9 The surface winds over Earth Are very complicated because of the changing seasons, differences between land and water, and differences in latitude.Can be simplified using a conceptual model.Have been described using a 3-cell model with no land and no seasons. Only temperature differences from equator to pole are included.
10 Figure 06: Conceptual model of global-scale winds.
11 The Conceptual ModelBegins with cloud band that nearly encircles the tropicsThese convective clouds are nearly always present and require upward motionRising air explains cloudiness and precipitation in the tropicsAloft, the rising air spreads out to the north and south, and the Coriolis force deflects it towards the east
13 Figure 08: The conservation of angular momentum
14 Figure 09: Satellite image of subtropical jet stream clouds. Courtesy of CIMSS, University of Wisconsin-Madison
15 The Conceptual Model Continues Aloft The air aloft accelerates as it approaches 30° latitude and forms the west-to-east subtropical jet streamConverging air near latitude 30° sinks toward the surface where there is a region of high pressure, light winds, and a minimum of cloudiness and precipitationThe subsiding air spreads out to the north and south
16 The Conceptual Model Continues at the Surface Air flowing towards the equator near the surface away from the region of high pressure and light winds is deflected by the Coriolis ForceThis air becomes the trade windsThe trade winds of the NH and SH come together in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)This circulation is called the Hadley cellThe ITCZ is also known as the doldrums, for the light winds often observed there
17 Figure B01A: Full-disk satellite image with labels Courtesy of SSEC and CIMSS, University of Wisconsin-Madison
19 Figure 10: Satellite image of clouds in equatorial Pacific Courtesy of Earth Observatory/NASA
20 The Conceptual Model near the Poles At the poles more energy is lost to space than gained from the sunThe air there cools and sinks, warming adiabatically and creating an inversion that inhibits cloudiness and precipitationAt the ground, the sinking air moves outward from the poles, is deflected by the Coriolis force, and becomes the polar easterliesEventually the air rises to complete the circulation of the polar cell
21 The Conceptual Model in Mid Latitudes On the poleward sides of the descending branches of the Hadley cells, surface air moves polewardThe Coriolis forces deflects this air to form the midlatitude westerliesThe midlatitude westerlies encounter the polar easterlies at about latitude 60°, a clash of air masses called the polar frontThe temperature gradient causes the westerly polar front jet
22 Figure 7.11ab: Sea-level pressure maps for a typical January and July
23 Figure 7.11cd Wind maps for a typical January and July
25 Figure 7.13: The approximate positions of the polar front jet stream and the subtropical jet stream over the Northern Hemisphere during winter.Modified from S. Lee and H.-K. Kim, J. Atmos. Sci 60 : 1490–1503.
26 Upper-Air Midlatitude Westerlies The jet streams meander like rivers, producing a wave-like pattern of troughs and ridgesThe air flow through these waves results in storms that move warm air poleward and cold air toward the equator.Each trough-ridge pattern is called a Rossby waveRossby waves drift slowly eastward, with rising air near the troughs and sinking air near the ridges
28 WavesWaves are described by their wavelength (distance between successive troughs or ridges) and amplitude (north-south extent)Amplitude and wavelength determine the type of weather associated with the waves
29 Names for Upper-level Wind Patterns When the waves are small, and the ridges and troughs are weak, the pattern is called zonal, or high index, meaning roughly west to east at constant latitude.When the waves have greater amplitude (north-south dimension), the pattern is called meridional, or low index, meaning that there is a lot of north/south motion.
31 More about upper-level patterns Sometimes there is zonal flow at high latitudes and meridional flow at low latitudes. This is a split-flow pattern.Sometimes persistent closed highs and lows form in a split-flow pattern when the meridional pattern is extremely meridional. This is called a blocking pattern, because it can be extremely persistent.
32 Figure 7.16: Normal (a) and “blocking” (b) wind patterns above North America in summer Modified from “Written in the Winds: The Great Drought of ’88.” J. Namias, Weatherwise, Jan , vol. 42, pp. 85–87. Reprinted by permission of the publisher [Taylor & Francis Group,
33 Implications of Upper-level Winds Blocking highs can lead to drought conditions and prolonged heat waves.Meridional flow accomplishes poleward energy transport that helps balance the energy balance of the Earth and atmosphere.
34 Figure 17a: (a) Anomalies in 500-mb heights in the vicinity of North America during December 2009 to February 2010.Courtesy of ESRL Physical Science Division/NOAA.
35 Figure 17b: Actual 500-mb heights in the vicinity of North America during December 2009 to February 2010.Courtesy of ESRL Physical Science Division/NOAA.
36 More about Waves in the Westerlies Aloft Shorter waves move eastward faster than the longer Rossby waves.Waves of different length can add and subtract to/from one another’s amplitude.Forecasting waves in the westerlies aloft is vital for everyday weather forecasting.El Niño/La Niña affect the westerlies aloft.
38 The Poleward Transport of Energy The poleward transport of energy is a feature of the conceptual modelWithout this transport of energy the poles would be much colder and the tropics much warmerPoleward energy transport is accomplished by both the atmosphere and the oceansThe region of maximum energy transport lies between latitudes 30° and 60°
39 Figure 19: Heat transport by atmosphere and ocean
40 Seasonal Shifts and Monsoons The ITCZ, the subtropical highs, and the polar front all shift southward in NH winter and northward in NH summer.Seasonal shifts are most intense over Asia, which has the largest continental air mass.The summer monsoon is wet, with low pressure over land; the winter monsoon is dry, with high pressure over land.
41 Figure 20: Location of ITCZ in January and July
42 More Seasonal ShiftsThe polar jet stream is displaced further poleward in summer than in winterDuring summer the positions of the subtropical highs shift polewardThe polar jet stream is weaker in summerThe subtropical jet stream is weaker in summerLows associated with the ITCZ shift seasonally as do the lows associated with the polar front
43 Thermal LowsLows associated with deserts are called heat lows or thermal lowsThey develop because of intense surface heatingThey develop at about the same latitude as the subtropical highsThey occur in the southwest U.S. in summer, and the vicinity of Iraq
44 MonsoonsMonsoons are weather features driven by seasonal differences in the heating of land and ocean along with seasonal shifts in global-scale circulations.Monsoons are not present in the three-cell modelIndian summer monsoon has cooler air over water, heated air over land, upslope onshore wind and generation of clouds and precipitation—wet seasonIndian summer monsoon has return flow aloft from land to water and sinking air over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal
45 Figure 21: Summer Indian monsoon circulation schematic.
47 The Winter MonsoonDuring autumn and winter, air above land cools faster than over the water, establishing a PGF from land to water.The winds are reversed from the summer monsoon flow—at the surface from land to seaSinking air above the land suppresses cloud development and precipitation.Winter monsoon is a dry season
48 Unsolved Problems for Research What determines the location of the ITCZ?The ITCZ has been moving northward at a rate of about 1.4 km per year.What controls the poleward extent of the Hadley cell?What causes the summertime subtropical highs in the Northern Hemisphere?Why is it that the subtropical highs of the Northern Hemisphere are strongest when the sinking branch of the Hadley cell is at its weakest?What controls the locations of the jet streams?
49 Figure 23: Computer simulations of the location of the polar and subtropical jet streams for varying amounts of tropical convection.Modified from S. Lee and H.-K. Kim, J. Atmos. Sci. 60: 1490–1503.
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