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The atmospheric mesoscale kinetic energy spectrum is investigated through numerical simulations of an idealized baroclinic wave life cycle, from linear instability to mature nonlinear evolution and with high horizontal and vertical resolution (Dx ' 10 km and Dz ' 60 m). The spontaneous excitation of inertia-gravity waves yields a shallowing of the mesoscale spectrum with respect to the large scales, in qualitative agreement with observations. However, this shallowing is restricted to the lowerdoi:10.1175/2008jas2829.1 fatcat:zze7m7mp6jhxfkandt3x4woj6m