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Article

Analyzing Atmospheric Circulation Patterns Using Mass Fluxes Calculated from Weather Balloon Measurements: North Atlantic Region as a Case Study

1
Independent Researcher, D01 Dublin, Ireland
2
Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES), Salem, MA 01970, USA
3
Institute of Earth Physics and Space Science (ELKH EPSS), H-9400 Sopron, Hungary
4
Laboratorio de Inteligencia Artificial, Instituto de Geofisica, Radiacion Solar, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico City 04510, Mexico
5
Scientific Research Commission of Buenos Aires (CICPBA), Environmental Research Group (GEA-UTN), National Technological University (UTN), San Nicolás 2900, Buenos Aires, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Maxim G. Ogurtsov
Atmosphere 2021, 12(11), 1439; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111439
Received: 6 October 2021 / Revised: 21 October 2021 / Accepted: 26 October 2021 / Published: 30 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Links between Solar Activity and Atmospheric Circulation)
In recent decades, efforts to investigate atmospheric circulation patterns have predominantly relied on either semi-empirical datasets (i.e., reanalyses) or modeled output (i.e., global climate models, GCMs). While both approaches can provide important insights, there is a need for more empirical data to supplement these approaches. In this paper, we demonstrate how the application of relatively simple calculations to the basic measurements from a standard weather balloon radiosonde can provide a vertical profile of the horizontal atmospheric mass fluxes. These mass fluxes can be resolved into their meridional (north/south) and zonal (east/west) components. This provides a new useful empirical tool for analyzing atmospheric circulations. As a case study, we analyze the results for a selected five stations along a fairly constant meridian in the North Atlantic sector from 2015–2019. For each station, we find the atmospheric mass flux profiles from the lower troposphere to mid-stratosphere are surprisingly coherent, suggesting stronger interconnection between the troposphere and stratosphere than previously thought. Although our five stations span a region nominally covered by the classical polar, Ferrel and Hadley meridional circulation cells, the results are inconsistent with those expected for polar and Ferrel cells and only partially consistent with that of a Hadley cell. However, the region is marked by very strong prevailing westerly (west to east) mass fluxes for most of the atmosphere except for the equatorial surface easterlies (“trade winds”). We suggest that the extension of the techniques of this case study to other stations and time periods could improve our understanding of atmospheric circulation patterns and their time variations. View Full-Text
Keywords: weather balloon data; molar densities; troposphere-stratosphere correlations; atmospheric mass motion/circulation weather balloon data; molar densities; troposphere-stratosphere correlations; atmospheric mass motion/circulation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Connolly, M.; Connolly, R.; Soon, W.; Velasco Herrera, V.M.; Cionco, R.G.; Quaranta, N.E. Analyzing Atmospheric Circulation Patterns Using Mass Fluxes Calculated from Weather Balloon Measurements: North Atlantic Region as a Case Study. Atmosphere 2021, 12, 1439. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111439

AMA Style

Connolly M, Connolly R, Soon W, Velasco Herrera VM, Cionco RG, Quaranta NE. Analyzing Atmospheric Circulation Patterns Using Mass Fluxes Calculated from Weather Balloon Measurements: North Atlantic Region as a Case Study. Atmosphere. 2021; 12(11):1439. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111439

Chicago/Turabian Style

Connolly, Michael, Ronan Connolly, Willie Soon, Víctor M. Velasco Herrera, Rodolfo G. Cionco, and Nancy E. Quaranta 2021. "Analyzing Atmospheric Circulation Patterns Using Mass Fluxes Calculated from Weather Balloon Measurements: North Atlantic Region as a Case Study" Atmosphere 12, no. 11: 1439. https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos12111439

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