Unit 19

Scale analysis and balanced flows

Temporal and spatial scales of meteorological processes. From: Mölders and Kramm (2014)
Temporal and spatial scales of meteorological processes. From: Mölders and Kramm (2014)

Learning goals

After completion of this units the student will be able to

  • perform scale analysis of the governing atmospheric equations for various scales
  • apply simplified models of the equation of motion to analyze atmospheric processes
  • analyze the weather by applying synoptic rules derived from the simplified models
  • discuss synoptic systems in terms of their motion

Application of scale analysis to describe atmospheric motion in terms of balanced flows

Students’ Tasks

    1. Watch this video
  1. Read chapter 6.4 to 6.4.5 (included) of Lectures in Meteorology.
  2. Take notes and write down the equations that you identify to be of relevance for the balanced flows.
  3. Prepare to present the material in class at the board.
  4. Answer the questionnaire by 1500 AST the day before the next class.

You can find the powerpoint presentation at the link.

Worked problems (optional)

This worked problem shows how to calculate the geostrophic wind.

This worked problem illustrates how to calculate acceleration due to eddy diffusion of momentum.

This worked problem illustrates how to determine the pressure gradient force in horizontal and vertical direction and compares them.

Class work

Among other things, we will apply the learned material to solve these problems.