# Seminars

# Atmosphere Ocean Science Colloquium

#### Exact planetary waves and jet streams

**Speaker:**
Nick Pizzo, University of Rhode Island

**Location:**
Warren Weaver Hall 1302

**Date:**
Wednesday, October 30, 2024, 3:30 p.m.

**Synopsis:**

We investigate exact nonlinear waves on surfaces locally approximating the rotating sphere for two-dimensional inviscid incompressible flow. Our first system corresponds to a beta-plane approximation at the equator and the second to a gamma approximation, with the latter describing flow near the poles. We find exact wave solutions in the Lagrangian reference frame that cannot be written down in closed form in the Eulerian reference frame. The wave particle trajectories, contours of potential vorticity and Lagrangian mean velocity take relatively simple forms. The waves possess a non-trivial Lagrangian mean flow that depends on the amplitude of the waves and on a particle label that characterizes values of constant potential vorticity. The mean flow arises due to potential vorticity conservation on fluid particles. Solutions over the entire space are generated by assuming that the flow far from the origin is zonal and there is a region of constant potential vorticity between this zonal flow and the waves. In the gamma approximation a class of waves are found which, based on analogous solutions on the plane, we call Ptolemaic vortex waves. The mean flow of some of these waves resemble polar jet streams. Several illustrative solutions are used as initial conditions in the fully spherical rotating Navier-Stokes equations, where integration is performed via the numerical scheme presented in Salmon and Pizzo (2023). The potential vorticity contours found from these numerical experiments vary between stable permanent progressive form and fully turbulent flows generated by wave breaking.