Mesoscale Gravity Waves and Midlatitude Weather: A Tribute to Fuqing Zhang
AffiliationDepartment of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherAmerican Meteorological Society
CitationRuppert, J. H., Jr., Koch, S. E., Chen, X., Du, Y., Seimon, A., Sun, Y. Q., Wei, J., & Bosart, L. F. (2022). Mesoscale Gravity Waves and Midlatitude Weather: A Tribute to Fuqing Zhang. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.
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AbstractOver the course of his career, Fuqing Zhang drew vital new insights into the dynamics of meteorologically significant mesoscale gravity waves (MGWs), including their generation by unbalanced jet streaks, their interaction with fronts and organized precipitation, and their importance in midlatitude weather and predictability. Zhang was the first to deeply examine “spontaneous balance adjustment”-the process by which MGWs are continuously emitted as baroclinic growth drives the upper-level flow out of balance. Through his pioneering numerical model investigation of the large-amplitude MGW event of 4 January 1994, he additionally demonstrated the critical role of MGW-moist convection interaction in wave amplification. Zhang's curiosity-turned-passion in atmospheric science covered a vast range of topics and led to the birth of new branches of research in mesoscale meteorology and numerical weather prediction. Yet, it was his earliest studies into midlatitude MGWs and their significant impacts on hazardous weather that first inspired him. Such MGWs serve as the focus of this review, wherein we seek to pay tribute to his groundbreaking contributions, review our current understanding, and highlight critical open science issues. Chief among such issues is the nature of MGW amplification through feedback with moist convection, which continues to elude a complete understanding. The pressing nature of this subject is underscored by the continued failure of operational numerical forecast models to adequately predict most large-amplitude MGW events. Further research into such issues therefore presents a valuable opportunity to improve the understanding and forecasting of this high-impact weather phenomenon, and in turn, to preserve the spirit of Zhang's dedication to this subject. © 2022 American Meteorological Society For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy.
Note6 month embargo; published online: 29 January 2022
VersionFinal published version