Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dyer, Jamie L.

Committee Member

Brown, Michael E.

Committee Member

Dixon, P. Grady

Committee Member

Amburn, Philip

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Quasi-geostrophic (QG) analysis of the atmosphere utilizes predefined isobaric surfaces to ascertain vertical motion. One equation of the QG system is the omega equation that states that vertical forcing results from differential vorticity advection and thickness advection. Two problems arise when using the QG omega equation: the forcing terms are not independent and must be analyzed simultaneously, and vertical forcing is visually noisy. Both issues are resolved using a smoothing and quantification technique that applies the QG omega equation. The analysis fields from a selection of events were chosen from the North American Mesoscale model. Using a finite differencing methodology dependent on the wavelength of synoptic features, values of vertical forcing were calculated using the omega equation. The calculated omega field correlated well with model omega while also quantifying and visualizing large perturbations in vertical forcing. The method allows for quick diagnosis of forcing type and strength within the atmosphere.



vertical motion||Quasi-geostrophic theory||Three-dimensional visualization