Wave development, using Rayleigh's 1880 model of barotropic, inviscid and incompressible flow, with a mean zonal wind which is linearly sheared between two edges, is described in terms of the interaction between two counter-propagating Rossby waves (CRWs). Although the solutions described by this approach could also be described by a sum of the normal modes originally obtained by Rayleigh, we offer a CRW description of Rayleigh's model because it provides a useful pedagogical framework for illustrating, in a precise and quantifiable manner, the interacting Rossby wave view of instability. A CRW interpretation of a modified version of the Rayleigh model, consisting of a jet-like flow featuring two strips of vorticity with opposite signs, is also given.
|Number of pages||19|
|Journal||Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society|
|State||Published - Oct 1999|
- Counter-propagating Rossby waves
- Normal modes
- Shear instability
- Vorticity strips