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Mountain-Wave Propagation under Transient Tropospheric Forcing: A DEEPWAVE Case Study
Monthly Weather Review
  • Tanja C. Portele, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
  • Andreas Dörnbrack, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
  • Johannes S. Wagner, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
  • Sonja Gisinger, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
  • Benedikt Ehard, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
  • Pierre-Dominique Pautet, Utah State University
  • Markus Rapp, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt
Document Type
American Meteorological Society
Publication Date

The impact of transient tropospheric forcing on the deep vertical mountain-wave propagation is investigated by a unique combination of in situ and remote sensing observations and numerical modeling. The temporal evolution of the upstream low-level wind follows approximately a cos2 shape and was controlled by a migrating trough and connected fronts. Our case study reveals the importance of the time-varying propagation conditions in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS). Upper-tropospheric stability, the wind profile, and the tropopause strength affected the observed and simulated wave response in the UTLS. Leg-integrated along-track momentum fluxes (-MFtrack) and amplitudes of vertical displacements of air parcels in the UTLS reached up to 130 kN m-1 and 1500 m, respectively. Their maxima were phase shifted to the maximum low-level forcing by ≈8 h. Small-scale waves (λx ≈ 20 - 30 km) were continuously forced, and their flux values depended on wave attenuation by breaking and reflection in the UTLS region. Only maximum flow over the envelope of the mountain range favored the excitation of longer waves that propagated deeply into the mesosphere. Their long propagation time caused a retarded enhancement of observed mesospheric gravity wave activity about 12–15 h after their observation in the UTLS. For the UTLS, we further compared observed and simulated MFtrack with fluxes of 2D quasi-steady runs. UTLS momentum fluxes seem to be reproducible by individual quasi-steady 2D runs, except for the flux enhancement during the early decelerating forcing phase.


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Citation Information
Portele, T.C., A. Dörnbrack, J.S. Wagner, S. Gisinger, B. Ehard, P. Pautet, and M. Rapp, 2018: Mountain-Wave Propagation under Transient Tropospheric Forcing: A DEEPWAVE Case Study. Mon. Wea. Rev., 146, 1861–1888,