Jet interaction and the influence of a minimum phase speed bound on the propagation of eddies
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
American Meteorological Society
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Under indefinite embargo due to publisher policy. The final version is available from American Meteorological Society via the DOI in this record.
The feedback between planetary-scale eddies and analogs of the midlatitude eddy-driven jet and the subtropical jet is investigated in a barotropic b-plane model. In the model the subtropical jet is generated by a relaxation process and the eddy-driven jet by an imposed wavemaker.Aminimum zonal phase speed bound is proposed in addition to the established upper bound, where the zonal phase speed of waves must be less than that of the zonal mean zonal flow. Cospectral analysis of eddy momentum flux convergence shows that eddy activity is generally restricted by these phase speed bounds. The wavenumber-dependent minimum phase speed represents a turning line for meridionally propagating waves. By varying the separation distance between the relaxation and stirring regions, it is found that a sustained, double-jet state is achieved when either a critical or turning latitude forms in the interjet region. The interjet turning latitude filters eddies by zonal wavenumber such that shorter waves tend to be reflected off of the relaxed jet and are confined to the eddy-driven jet. The interjet region is transparent to long waves that act to blend the jets and may be associated with barotropic instability. The eddy-driven and relaxed jets tend to merge owing to the propagation of these long waves through the relaxed jet waveguide. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant AGS-1144302.
Vol. 70, No. 8, pp. 2614 - 2628