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Abstract: The interaction between planetary waves and an arbitrary zonal flow isstudied from a phase-space viewpoint. Using the Wigner distribution, aplanetary wave Vlasov equation is derived that includes the contribution of themean flow to the zonal potential vorticity gradient. This equation is appliedto the problem of planetary wave modulational instability, where it is used topredict a fastest growing mode of finite wavenumber. A wave-mean flow numericalmodel is used to test the analytical predictions, and an intuitive explanationof modulational instability and jet asymmetry is given via the motion ofplanetary wavepackets in phase space.



Author: Robin D. Wordsworth

Source: https://arxiv.org/







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