Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-597
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2024-597
04 Mar 2024
 | 04 Mar 2024
Status: this preprint is open for discussion and under review for Weather and Climate Dynamics (WCD).

Spatio-temporal filtering of jets obscures the reinforcement of baroclinicity by latent heating

Henrik Auestad, Clemens Spensberger, Andrea Marcheggiani, Paulo Ceppi, Thomas Spengler, and Tim Woollings

Abstract. Latent heating modifies the jet stream by modifying the vertical geostrophic wind shear, thereby altering the potential for baroclinic development. Hence, correctly representing diabatic effects is important for modelling the mid-latitude atmospheric circulation and variability. Yet, the direct effects of diabatic heating remain poorly understood. For example, there is no consensus on the effect of latent heating on the cross-jet temperature contrast. We show that this disagreement is attributable to the choice of spatio-temporal filtering. Jet representations relying on filtered wind tend to have the strongest latent heating on the cold flank of the jet, thus weakening the cross-jet temperature contrast. In contrast, jet representations reflecting the two-dimensional instantaneous wind field have the strongest latent heating on the warm flank of the jet. Furthermore, we show that latent heating primarily occurs on the warm flank of poleward directed instantaneous jets, which is the case for all storm tracks and seasons.

Henrik Auestad, Clemens Spensberger, Andrea Marcheggiani, Paulo Ceppi, Thomas Spengler, and Tim Woollings

Status: open (until 01 May 2024)

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Henrik Auestad, Clemens Spensberger, Andrea Marcheggiani, Paulo Ceppi, Thomas Spengler, and Tim Woollings
Henrik Auestad, Clemens Spensberger, Andrea Marcheggiani, Paulo Ceppi, Thomas Spengler, and Tim Woollings

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Short summary
Latent heating due to condensation can influence atmospheric circulation by strengthening or weakening horizontal temperature contrasts. Strong temperature contrasts intensify storms and imply the existence of strong upper tropospheric winds, called jets. It remains unclear whether latent heating preferentially reinforces or abates the existing jet. We show that this disagreement is attributable to how the jet is defined, confirming that latent heating reinforces the jet.