This diagram summarizes the essence of an idea I've been promoting (since this diagram was first published in 1981) that Clear Air Turbulence is triggered when a layer of air undergoes vertical compression, causing the Richardson Number (ratio of stabilizing forces to destabilizing ones) to cross the threshold for instability, leading to wave breakdown and CAT. This is opposite of the most common idea, which is that CAT is generated when there's a large vertical separation of the streamlines, causing an "overturning," which also would lead to an irreversible breakdown of the air flow, generating CAT.
To learn more about the evidence I believe has been produced by the Microwave Temperature Profiler instrument that supports my vertcail copmpression hypothesis, return to the home page and click the "Cldear Air Turbulence" link.
This site opened: September 8, 2000. Last Update: September 8, 2000