A new diagnostic framework is developed and applied to ERA-Interim to quantitatively assess vertical velocity (omega) profiles in the wavenumber–frequency domain. Two quantities are defined with the first two EOF–PC pairs of omega profiles in the tropical ocean: a top-heaviness ratio and a tilt ratio. The top-heaviness and tilt ratios are defined, respectively, as the cospectrum and quadrature spectrum of PC1 and PC2 divided by the power spectrum of PC1. They represent how top-heavy an omega profile is at the convective maximum, and how much tilt omega profiles contain in the spatiotemporal evolution of a wave. The top-heaviness ratio reveals that omega profiles become more top-heavy as the time scale (spatial scale) becomes longer (larger). The MJO has the most top-heavy profile while the eastward inertio-gravity (EIG) and westward inertio-gravity (WIG) waves have the most bottom-heavy profiles. The tilt ratio reveals that the Kelvin, WIG, EIG, and mixed Rossby–gravity (MRG) waves, categorized as convectively coupled gravity waves, have significant tilt in the omega profiles, while the equatorial Rossby (ER) wave and MJO, categorized as slow-moving moisture modes, have less tilt. The gross moist stability (GMS), cloud–radiation feedback, and effective GMS were also computed for each wave. The MJO with the most top-heavy omega profile exhibits high GMS, but has negative effective GMS due to strong cloud–radiation feedbacks. Similarly, the ER wave also exhibits negative effective GMS with a top-heavy omega profile. These results may indicate that top-heavy omega profiles build up more moist static energy via strong cloud–radiation feedbacks, and as a result, are more preferable for the moisture mode instability.
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 1575 to 1582
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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