Lecture 4: Pressure and Wind

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1 Lecture 4: Pressure and Wind Pressure, Measurement, Distribution Forces Affect Wind Geostrophic Balance Winds in Upper Atmosphere Near-Surface Winds Hydrostatic Balance (why the sky isn t falling!) Thermal Wind Balance

2 Wind is moving air.

3 Force that Determines Wind Pressure gradient force Coriolis force Friction Centrifugal force

4 Thermal Energy to Kinetic Energy Pole Eq cold warm (on a horizontal surface) H (high pressure) pressure gradient force L (low pressure)

5 Global Atmospheric Circulation Model

6 Sea Level Pressure (July)

7 Sea Level Pressure (January)

8 Measurement of Pressure Aneroid barometer (left) and its workings (right) A barograph continually records air pressure through time

9 Pressure Gradient Force (from Meteorology Today) PG = (pressure difference) / distance Pressure gradient force force goes from high pressure to low pressure. Closely spaced isobars on a weather map indicate steep pressure gradient.

10 Thermal Energy to Kinetic Energy Pole Eq cold warm (on a horizontal surface) H (high pressure) pressure gradient force L (low pressure)

11 Balance of Force in the Horizontal Upper Troposphere (free atmosphere) H (high pressure) pressure gradient force geostrophic balance L (low pressure) geostrophic balance plus frictional force Can happen in the tropics where the Coriolis force is small. (from Weather & Climate) Surface

12 Coriolis Force U B U A (from The Earth System) First, Point A rotates faster than Point B (U A > U B ) U A > U B A northward motion starting at A will arrive to the east of B It looks like there is a force pushing the northward motion toward right This apparent force is called Coriolis force : Coriolis Force = f V where f = 2*Ω*Sin(lat) and Ω=7.292x10-5 rad s -1

13 Coriolis Force Coriolis force causes the wind to deflect to the right of its intent path in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The magnitude of Coriolis force depends on (1) the rotation of the Earth, (2) the speed of the moving object, and (3) its latitudinal location. The stronger the speed (such as wind speed), the stronger the Coriolis force. The higher the latitude, the stronger the Coriolis force. The Corioils force is zero at the equator. Coriolis force is one major factor that determine weather pattern.

14 Another Kind of Coriolis Force (from The Earth System) The Coriolis force also causes the east-west wind to deflect to the right of its intent path in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The deflections are caused by the centrifugal force associated with the east-west motion, and, therefore, related to rotation of the Earth, and are also considered as a kind of Coriolis force. Although the description of the deflection effect for north-south and east-west motions are very different, their mathematical expressions are the same.

15 Coriolis Force Change with latitudes (from The Atmosphere)

16 How Does Coriolis Force Affect Wind Motion? (from Weather & Climate)

17 Geostrophic Balance H L Coriolis force pressure gradient force By doing scale analysis, it has been shown that largescale and synoptic-scale weather system are in geostropic balance. Geostrophic winds always follow the constant pressure lines (isobar). Therefore, we can figure out flow motion by looking at the pressure distribution.

18 Scales of Motions in the Atmosphere (from Meteorology Today by C. Donald Ahrens 1994 West Publishing Company)

19 Frictional Effect on Surface Flow H Coriolis force H Coriolis force Surface friction Surface friction L pressure gradient force L pressure gradient force Surface friction force slows down the geostrophic flow. The flow turns into (out of) the low (high) press sides. Convergence (divergence) is produced with the flow.

20 Surface Friction Friction Force = c * V c = friction coefficient V = wind speed

21 Surface Geostrophic Flow Cyclonic Flow Anticyclonic Flow (figures from Weather & Climate)

22 (from The Atmosphere)

23 Surface High and Low Pressure Systems (from The Atmosphere)

24 Centrifugal Force The force that change the direction (but not the speed) of motion is called the centrifugal force. Centrifugal Force = V 2 / R. V = wind speed R = the radius of the curvature (from The Atmosphere)

25 Gradient Wind Balance The three-way balance of horizontal pressure gradient, Coriolis force, and the centrifugal force is call the gradient wind balance. The gradient wind is an excellent approximation to the actual wind observed above the Earth s surface, especially at the middle latitudes.

26 Super- and Sub-Geostrophic Wind For high pressure system gradient wind > geostrophic wind supergeostropic. (from Meteorology: Understanding the Atmosphere) For low pressure system gradient wind < geostrophic wind subgeostropic.

27 Pressure Gradients Pressure Gradients The pressure gradient force initiates movement of atmospheric mass, wind, from areas of higher to areas of lower pressure Horizontal Pressure Gradients Typically only small gradients exist across large spatial scales (1mb/100km) Smaller scale weather features, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, display larger pressure gradients across small areas (1mb/6km) Vertical Pressure Gradients Average vertical pressure gradients are usually greater than extreme examples of horizontal pressure gradients as pressure always decreases with altitude (1mb/10m)

28 Why didn t the strong vertical pressure gradient push the air rise?

29 Hydrostatic Balance in the Vertical vertical pressure force = gravitational force - (dp) x (da) = ρ x (dz) x (da) x g dp = -ρgdz dp/dz = -ρg The hydrostatic balance!! (from Climate System Modeling)

30 What Does Hydrostatic Balance Tell Us? The hydrostatic equation tells us how quickly air pressure drops wit height. The rate at which air pressure decreases with height (ΔP/ Δz) is equal to the air density (ρ) times the acceleration of gravity (g)

31 The Ideal Gas Law An equation of state describes the relationship among pressure, temperature, and density of any material. All gases are found to follow approximately the same equation of state, which is referred to as the ideal gas law (equation). Atmospheric gases, whether considered individually or as a mixture, obey the following ideal gas equation: P = ρ R T pressure Density=m/V temperature (degree Kelvin) gas constant (its value depends on the gas considered) R=287 J deg -1 kg -1 for dry air

32 Hydrostatic Balance and Atmospheric Vertical Structure Since P= ρrt (the ideal gas law), the hydrostatic equation becomes: dp = -P/RT x gdz dp/p = -g/rt x dz P = P s exp(-gz/rt) P = P s exp(-z/h) The atmospheric pressure decreases exponentially with height (from Meteorology Today)

33 Temperature and Pressure Hydrostatic balance tells us that the pressure decrease with height is determined by the temperature inside the vertical column. Pressure decreases faster in the cold-air column and slower in the warm-air column. Pressure drops more rapidly with height at high latitudes and lowers the height of the pressure surface. (from Weather & Climate)

34 Thermal Wind Relation (from Weather & Climate)

35 Thermal Wind Equation U/ z T/ y The vertical shear of zonal wind is related to the latitudinal gradient of temperature. Jet streams usually are formed above baroclinic zone (such as the polar front).

36 Subtropical and Polar Jet Streams Subtropical Jet Located at the higher-latitude end of the Hadley Cell. The jet obtain its maximum wind speed (westerly) due the conservation of angular momentum. Polar Jet Located at the thermal boundary between the tropical warm air and the polar cold air. The jet obtain its maximum wind speed (westerly) due the latitudinal thermal gradient (thermal wind relation). (from Atmospheric Circulation Systems)

37 Jet Streams Near the Western US Pineapple Express (from Riehl (1962), Palmen and Newton (1969)) Both the polar and subtropical jet streams can affect weather and climate in the western US (such as California). El Nino can affect western US climate by changing the locations and strengths of these two jet streams.

38 Scales of Motions in the Atmosphere (from Meteorology Today by C. Donald Ahrens 1994 West Publishing Company)

39 Cold and Warm Fronts Mid-Latitude Cyclone cold front warm front (From Weather & Climate)

40 Tropical Hurricane The hurricane is characterized by a strong thermally direct circulation with the rising of warm air near the center of the storm and the sinking of cooler air outside. (from Understanding Weather & Climate)

41 Naming Convention (from Weather & Climate) Hurricanes: extreme tropical storms over Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. Typhoons: extreme tropical storms over western Pacific Ocean. Cyclones: extreme tropical storms over Indian Ocean and Australia.

42 Ocean Temperature And Hurricane Hurricanes form over large pools of warm water.

43 Monsoon: Sea/Land-Related Circulation Monsoon (Arabic season ) Monsoon is a climate feature that is characterized by the seasonal reversal in surface winds. The very different heat capacity of land and ocean surface is the key mechanism that produces monsoons. Courtesy of Kevin G. Cannariato During summer seasons, land surface heats up faster than the ocean. Low pressure center is established over land while high pressure center is established over oceans. Winds blow from ocean to land and bring large amounts of water vapor to produce heavy precipitation over land: A rainy season. During winters, land surface cools down fast and sets up a high pressure center. Winds blow from land to ocean: a dry season.

44 How Many Monsoons Worldwide? North America Monsoon Asian Monsoon Australian Monsoon South America Monsoon (figure from Weather & Climate) Africa Monsoon

45 Sea/Land Breeze Sea/land breeze is also produced by the different heat capacity of land and ocean surface, similar to the monsoon phenomenon. However, sea/land breeze has much shorter timescale (day and night) and space scale (a costal phenomenon) than monsoon (a seasonal and continental-scale phenomenon). (figure from The Earth System)

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