, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 321-340

Geostrophic drag coefficients

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Data on the relationship of the surface wind to the geostrophic wind at Porton Down, Salisbury Plain, are presented for various stability conditions and analysed in the light of the Rossbynumber similarity theory. For near-neutral conditions, the geostrophic drag coefficients for geostrophic wind speeds 5 to 15 m s-1 are close to those found by other workers but at higher speeds the values are low. Comparisons of geostrophic and radar wind speeds for ⋍900-m height, suggest that undetectably small mean cyclonic curvatures of the trajectories of the air are responsible for this departure.

A value of the geostrophic drag coefficient for the open sea at wind speeds around 8 m s-1 (neutral conditions) is deduced from recent observations of the drag in relation to the surface wind, combined with the ratios of 900-mb radar wind to surface wind obtained from the North Atlantic weather ship data tabulations of Findlater et al. (1966).