The Tropospheric Response to Tropical and Subtropical Zonally Asymmetric Torques: Analytical and Idealized Numerical Model Results


The tropospheric response to prescribed tropical and subtropical zonally asymmetric torques, which can be considered as idealizations of vertical momentum transfers by orographic gravity waves or convection, is investigated. The linear analytical Gill model response to westward upper-tropospheric torques is compared to the response to a midtropospheric heating, which is a familiar point of reference. The response to an equatorial torque projects onto a Kelvin wave response to the east that is of opposite sign to the response to the east of the heating at upper levels. In contrast, the torque and heating both produce Rossby gyres of the same sign to the west of the forcing and the zonal-mean streamfunction responses are identical. When the forcings are shifted into the Northern Hemisphere, the streamfunction responses have opposite signs: there is upwelling in the Southern (Northern) Hemisphere in response to the torque (heating).The nonlinear response to westward torques was explored in idealized …

J. Atmos. Sci.