Repository: Freie Universität Berlin, Math Department

Statistical and dynamical analyses of atmospheric blocking with an idealized point vortex model

Hirt, M. and Schielicke, L. and Müller, A. and Névir, P. (2017) Statistical and dynamical analyses of atmospheric blocking with an idealized point vortex model. Tellus A . pp. 1-22. (Submitted)

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We investigate a reduced point vortex model for a statistical and dynamical analysis of atmospheric blocking phenomena. Thereby, we consider high-over-low and omega blocking as equilibria of two and three point vortices. Based on fields of the kinematic vorticity number, two novel methods, the contour and the trapezoid method, are introduced in order to identify the vortices that form the blocking pattern as well as their local positions and circulation magnitudes. Using an instantaneous blocking index a total number of 347 blocking periods were identified in NCEP-NCAR Reanalysis data for the Euro-Atlantic region during the time period 1990-2012. This procedure provides the basis to corroborate the applicability of the point vortex model to atmospheric blocking in a statistical framework. The calculated translation speed of the point vortex systems associated with the atmospheric blocking appears to match the zonal mean velocity reasonably well. This model explains the stationary behaviour of blocking patterns. A comparison between the theoretical and a statistical model further reveals that the circulation of the blocking high follows the principles of the point vortex model to a large extent. However, the low-pressure-systems behave more variable. Moreover, the stability of point vortex equilibria is analysed regarding the relative distances by considering linear stability analysis and simulations. This reveals, that the point vortex blocking model corresponds to an unstable saddle point. Also, a possible transition between high-overlow and omega blocking situations is indicated. Furthermore, we take viscosity and a Brownian motion into account to simulate the influence of the smaller, subgrid-scale disturbances. As a result a clustering near the equilibrium state emerges indicating the persistence of the atmospheric blocking pattern.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:SFB 1114 Preprint: 12/2017
Subjects:Mathematical and Computer Sciences > Mathematics > Applied Mathematics
ID Code:2200
Deposited By: Silvia Hoemke
Deposited On:13 Feb 2018 13:44
Last Modified:20 Feb 2018 11:59

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