16 Jan 2023
 | 16 Jan 2023

A mountain ridge model for quantifying oblique mountain wave propagation and distribution

Sebastian Rhode, Peter Preusse, Manfred Ern, Jörn Ungermann, Lukas Krasauskas, Julio Bacmeister, and Martin Riese

Abstract. Following the current understanding of gravity waves (GWs) and especially mountain waves (MWs), they have high potential of horizontal propagation from their source. This horizontal propagation and therefore the transport of energy is usually not well represented in MW parameterizations of numerical weather prediction and general circulation models. The lack thereof possibly leads to shortcomings in the model's prediction as e.g. the cold pole bias in the Southern Hemisphere and the polar vortex breaking down too late. In this study we present a mountain wave model (MWM) for quantification of the horizontal propagation of orographic gravity waves. This model determines MW source location and associates their parameters from a fit of idealized Gaussian shaped mountains to topography data. Propagation and refraction of these MWs in the atmosphere is modeled using the ray-tracer GROGRAT. Ray-tracing each MW individually allows for an estimation of momentum transport due to both vertical and horizontal propagation. This study presents the MWM itself and gives validations of MW induced temperature perturbations to ECMWF IFS numerical weather prediction data and estimations of gravity wave momentum flux (GWMF) compared to HIRDLS satellite observations. The MWM is capable of reproducing the general features and amplitudes of both of these data sets and, in addition, is used to explain some observational features by investigating MW parameters along their trajectories.

Sebastian Rhode et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1479', Anonymous Referee #1, 13 Mar 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Sebastian Rhode, 28 Mar 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1479', Anonymous Referee #2, 29 Mar 2023
  • EC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-1479', Heini Wernli, 04 Apr 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on EC1', Sebastian Rhode, 18 Apr 2023

Sebastian Rhode et al.

Sebastian Rhode et al.


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Short summary
Gravity waves (GW) transport energy both in the vertical and horizontal within the atmosphere and thereby can accelerate or decelerate winds in places, that are far from the GW source. We present a model, that identifies orographic GW sources and follows the initialized GWs on their path through the atmosphere. Results of this model are used to explain physical pattern in satellite observations (e.g. little activity above the Himalayas) and to predict seasonal patterns of GW propagation.