(1) Applied Research Corporation, Landover, Maryland
Well known theoretical predictions suggest that variances of large-scale atmospheric fluctuations, for scales somewhat shorter than those of the forcing mechanism, should obey a power law, k raised to the -b, where k is the horizontal wave number. The invariance of the exponent b with season, hemisphere, and latitude is tested using satellite-measured brightness temperatures. Global grids of TIROS-N Microwave Sounding Unit channel 4 measurements, which closely approximate the 30- to 150-mbar layer mean temperature, are constructed for January, March, and August 1979. These grids are zonally Fourier- transformed, and the resulting spectra are averaged over four 18 degree-wide latitude bands. Fits of a power law to these spectra over wavenumbers 10-36 give values of b which are independent of season, hemisphere, and latitude band, to within statistical uncertainties. The observed values of b are about 3.6, as compared to theoretical predictions of 3.