Articles | Volume 24, issue 12
21 Dec 2006
 | 21 Dec 2006

Radiosonde observations of vertical wave number spectra for gravity waves in the lower atmosphere over Central China

Shao Dong Zhang, Chunming Huang, and Fan Yi

Abstract. Vertical wave number spectra of inertial gravity waves in the troposphere and lower stratosphere over six stations at latitudes from 20° N to 40° N were statistically studied by using the data from Radiosonde observation on a twice daily basis at 08:00 and 20:00 LT. Statistically, the spectral characteristics seem to be independent of the local observation time, and show considerable conformity between the spectral of zonal and meridional kinetic energy densities. Compared with the spectra of the kinetic energy density, the spectra of the potential energy density are steeper. in addition the characteristic wave numbers of the spectra also show considerable consistency among the observations at different stations. As for the spectral slopes, they are systematically smaller (in magnitude) than the canon value of –3, and exhibit slight height, seasonal and latitudinal variability. In addition to these universal characteristics, the spectral structures also exhibit departures and variations, and most of the departures and variations are related to the strong tropospheric jets. Generally, in the case of strong shear due to the tropospheric jet, there usually occur larger characteristic wave numbers and smaller spectral slopes. These departures seem to be persistent and climatological rather than transitory, indicating the significant impacts of the sheared background winds on the spectral structures of gravity waves.