Articles | Volume 15, issue 4
30 Apr 1997
30 Apr 1997

Evidence for the role of the diabatic heating in synoptic scale processes: a case study example

M. L. Martin, M. Y. Luna, and F. Valero

Abstract. The quasigeostrophic theory is used to address the role of diabatic forcing in synoptic scale processes over Iberia. A parametrization of diabatic heating is obtained in terms of a thermodynamic variable called the ice-liquid water potential temperature which is conservative under all phase changes of water. A case study objectively selected by means of a rotated principal component analysis over the diabatic field is analyzed to test the proposed parametrization. This study highlights the fact that the magnitudes of diabatic forcing and dynamic forcing are very nearly the same throughout the troposphere. The results also show that the composite diabatic heating is a better representation for both cloudiness and precipitation fields than the dynamic forcing.