Do gravity waves transport angular momentum away from tropical cyclones?

Yumin Moon, David S. Nolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Previous studies have suggested that gravity waves can transport a significantly large amount of angular momentum away from tropical cyclones, as much as 10% of the core angular momentum per hour. These previous studies used the shallow-water equations to model gravity waves radiating outward from rapidly rotating inner-core asymmetries. This issue is reinvestigated with a three-dimensional, nonhydrostatic, linear model of the vortex-anelastic equations. The response of balanced, axisymmetric vortices modeled after tropical cyclones to rotating asymmetric heat sources is examined to assess angular momentum transport by gravity waves radiating away from the core region of the vortices. Calculations show that gravity waves do transport angular momentum away from the vortex core; however, the amount transported is several orders of magnitude smaller than recent estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-135
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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