The Effect of a Hadley Circulation on the Propagation and Reflection of
Planetary Waves in a Simple One-Layer Model

Esler, J. Gavin; Polvani, Lorenzo M.; Plumb, R. Alan

The effect of a simple representation of the Hadley circulation on the propagation and nonlinear reflection of planetary-scale Rossby waves in the winter hemisphere is investigated numerically in a single-layer shallow-water model.
In the first instance, waves are forced by a zonal wavenumber three topography centered in the extratropics. In the linear limit the location of the low-latitude critical line at which the waves are absorbed is displaced poleward by the Hadley circulation. At finite forcing amplitude the critical layer regions where the waves break are found to be displaced poleward by a similar distance. The Hadley circulation is also found to inhibit the onset of nonlinear reflection by increasing the dissipation of wave activity in the critical layer.
Second, for waves generated by an isolated mountain, the presence of the Hadley circulation further inhibits nonlinear reflection by generating a strong westerly flux of wave activity within the critical layer. This westerly flux is shown to be largely advective and is explained by the poleward displacement of the critical line into the region of westerly flow. A simple expression is derived for the minimum zonal wind strength allowing propagation in the case of a quasigeostrophic β-plane flow when the mean meridional wind ̅υ greater than 0.


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Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences

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