baroclinic instability

baroclinic instability

[¦bar·ə¦klin·ik in·stə′bil·əd·ē]
(meteorology)
A hydrodynamic instability arising from the existence of a meridional temperature gradient (and hence of a thermal wind) in an atmosphere in quasi-geostrophic equilibrium and possessing static stability.
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This concept was later replaced by the baroclinic instability paradigm, which describes the development of a surface front as a consequence of the growing cyclone rather than its cause.
The shift away from the frontal discontinuity as the origin of cyclogenesis was supported by the theory of baroclinic instability (Charney 1947; Eady 1949), which explained the generation of extratropical cyclones in initially broad baroclinic zones without well-marked surface fronts.
You earned the Sverdrup medal for your "theories of the general circulation and baroclinic instability.
The principal result is that increasing rotation causes barotropic/ baroclinic instability and flow meandering with an approximate time-scale of [T.
However, in contrast to the stratospheric vortex, baroclinic instability (and the resulting waves) plays a key role in the variability and long-term maintenance of the large-scale tropospheric jet stream (Robinson 2006).
Given the reliance of subtropical storms on sustained convection to trigger moist baroclinic instability (Davis 2010), it is expected that the coupling index will provide an improved estimate of the thermodynamic limits on development.
A second course is often comprised from a number of chapters addressing quasigeostrophic (QG) theory, waves, the boundary layer, and baroclinic instability.