Tangential acceleration

From Glossary of Meteorology

tangential acceleration

The component of the acceleration directed along the velocity vector (streamline), with magnitude equal to the rate of change of speed of the parcel dV/dt, where V is the speed.

In horizontal, frictionless atmospheric flow, the tangential acceleration is balanced by the tangential pressure force,
where α is the specific volume, p the pressure, and s a coordinate along the streamline. Thus, flow without tangential acceleration is along the isobars, and the wind is the gradient wind.

Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact permissions@ametsoc.org. 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.