Chapter10a - The General Circulation of the Atmosphere...

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The General Circulation of the Atmosphere
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RECAP
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What we need to know for today Pressure gradient force: from H igh to L ow pressure Coriolis force (effect): Results from the rotation of the planet. Maximum at the poles and no effect at the equator. Acts perpendicular to the direction of motion: changes the direction of the wind but not the wind magnitude. In the NH deflects the wind to the right. In the SH deflects the wind to the left. Winds aloft Balance between the pressure force and the Coriolis force. The wind is parallel to the isobars. Surface winds Balance between the pressure gradient force, the Coriolis force and the air friction. The wind crosses the isobars (from H igh to L ow pressure).
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Surface Winds- a balance of three forces In the boundary layer (~1km thick) friction is important ! Friction is acting opposite the direction of the velocity -> friction reduces the wind speed -> the Coriolis force becomes weaker -> it cannot balance the pressure force. The wind starts to blow across the isobars towards the low pressure The angle between the direction of the wind and the isobars is on average 30 deg (Buys- Ballot’s law). It depends on the topography.
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Average Wind Structure The direction and the magnitude of the winds at a given location can vary significantly during the day, and from day to day. The general circulation (GC) refers to the average (the prevailing) winds on a global scale (around the world). The GC of the atmosphere is the result of the uneven heating of the Earth’s surface. It is impacted by the Earths rotation. The GC transports and redistributes energy from one region to another (warm air towards the poles and cold air towards the equator).
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The Single Cell Model This is a very simplified model based on the following three assumptions: 1. The Earth’s surface is uniformly covered with
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This note was uploaded on 05/29/2011 for the course MET 1010 taught by Professor Matchev during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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Chapter10a - The General Circulation of the Atmosphere...

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