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Barotropic vorticity equation
where is the material derivative and
- η = ζ + f
is absolute vorticity, with ζ being relative vorticity, defined as the vertical component of the curl of the fluid velocity and f is the Coriolis parameter
- f = 2Ωsinφ,
In terms of relative vorticity, the equation can be rewritten as
where is the variation of the Coriolis parameter with distance y in the north-south direction and v is the component of velocity in this direction.
In 1950, Charney, Fjorloft, and von Neumann integrated this equation (with an added diffusion term on the RHS) on a computer for the first time, using an observed field of 500 mb geopotential for the first timestep. This was the one of the first successful instances of numerical weather forecasting .
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