Baroclinic instability

From Glossary of Meteorology
Revision as of 15:28, 25 April 2012 by imported>Perlwikibot

baroclinic instability

A hydrodynamic instability arising from the existence of a meridional temperature gradient (and hence vertical shear of the mean flow and a thermal wind) in an atmosphere in quasigeostrophic equilibrium and possessing static stability.

For reasonable values of the atmospheric parameters, the wavelength of maximum instability corresponds to that of a synoptic-scale disturbance. Such a system may be interpreted as converting potential energy of the basic flow into kinetic energy of the unstable perturbation.

Holton, J. R. 1992. An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology. 3d edition, Academic Press, . 228–264.

Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.