zonal wave number

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A measure of the number of complete waves around the globe at a particular latitude, and usually determined from the contours at a specific isobaric surface. Typical wave numbers for the northern hemisphere are 4 or 5, indicating the numbers of ridges and troughs found around the Earth. A wave number of 1 is an indication of the eccentricity of the basic flow with respect to the geographic pole.

Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology.

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