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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-114
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-2018-114
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  14 Nov 2018

14 Nov 2018

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This preprint was under review for the journal ANGEO. A final paper is not foreseen.

Statistical variations of lower atmospheric turbulence and roles of inertial gravity waves at a middle latitude radiosonde site

Jian Zhang1,2,3, Shao Dong Zhang1,2,3, Chun Ming Huang1,2,3, Kai Ming Huang1,2,3, Ye Hui Zhang4, Yun Gong1,2,3, and Quan Gan1 Jian Zhang et al.
  • 1School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Geospace Environment and Geodesy, Ministry of Education, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Information Engineering in Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing, Wuhan University, Wuhan, People's Republic of China
  • 4College of Hydrometeorology, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, People's Republic of China

Abstract. Activities about turbulence and gravity waves are crucial for the understanding of the dynamical processes in the lower atmosphere. Thus, this study presents the long-term variations of turbulence and their associations with the Richardson number Ri and gravity waves by using a high-resolution radiosonde dataset from Miramar Nas (32.8° N, 117.1° W). Seasonal cycles and lognormal distribution are the two main characteristics of turbulence. The amount of turbulence can be increased where Ri exceeds any critical value, which suggests that the threshold Ri may not be an optimal predictor of the existence of turbulence, whereas a low Ri can lead to large and abundant turbulent energy dissipation rates. In general, dissipation rates from the radiosonde quantitatively agree with results from the neighboring MST radar given by Nastrom and Easton (2005), whereas an encouraging argument is reached in terms of the diffusion rate. The propagating gravity waves in the lower atmosphere, especially in the middle troposphere and the tropopause regions, can reduce Ri. Therefore, enhanced turbulent mixing is expected. Other roles of gravity waves in turbulent flow are that breaking waves and the temporal variations of waves may be occasionally transferred to turbulence and can roughly estimate dissipation rates at different heights.

This preprint has been withdrawn.

Jian Zhang et al.

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Jian Zhang et al.

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Short summary
Turbulence dissipation rate has inter-annual variations and follows a lognormal distribution. The magnitudes of turbulence detected by radiosonde and radar are roughly comparable. Turbulence cannot predicted by instabilities well but trends to be vigorous under the instability condition. The propagating gravity waves in the lower atmosphere can enhance atmospheric instabilities, and the temporal variations of waves can roughly estimate the turbulence dissipation rate at different height.
Turbulence dissipation rate has inter-annual variations and follows a lognormal distribution....
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