Monthly Weather Review: Vol. 114, No. 8, pp. 1547–1551.

Computation of the Streamfunction and Velocity Potential and Reconstruction of the Wind Field

S.J. Bijlsma, L.M. Hafkenscheid, and Peter Lynch

Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, The Netherlands

(Manuscript received 30 May 1985, accepted 18 February 1986)


A wind field given over a limited domain can be partitioned into nondivergent and irrotational components in an infinity of ways. A particular solution, selected by requiring the velocity potential to vanish on the boundary, has minimum divergent kinetic energy and is numerically easy to obtain.

The reconstruction of the wind field from the vorticity and divergence together with the boundary velocity is more difficult, since the potential equations are coupled by the boundary conditions. A numerical procedure is devised, which solves the two potential equations simultaneously, modifying both interior and boundary values in a converging iterative technique. The method is capable of reconstructing the wind field to any accuracy desired.

© Copyright by American Meteorological Society 1986