Formation and Structure of Equatorial Anticyclones Caused by Large-Scale Cross-Equatorial Flows Determined by ATS-I Photographs

Tetsuya T. Fujita Dept. of Geophysical Sciences, The University of Chicago

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Kazuo Watanabe Meteorological Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

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Tatsuo Izawa Meteorological Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

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Abstract

Because of poor coverage by synoptic stations, the tropical circulation over the eastern Pacific has not been known too well. As a result of photographic experiments, using the geosynchronous ATS-I satellite, fields of cloud motion over the eastern equatorial Pacific were mapped in detail on a number of days in September 1967. It was found that a large-scale flow from the Southern Hemisphere recurves after crossing the equator to form an anticyclone centered around 10N. Dynamical characteristics of this type of anticyclone were investigated by estimating the vorticity dissipating force from computed values of divergence and vorticity of low-cloud velocities determined from successive ATS-I pictures. The vorticity dissipating force seems to be related closely to the sea-surface temperature which would reduce the frictional coupling between the low-level atmosphere and the underlying sea surface. It was found that the anticyclone in its development stage results in a discontinuity of the intertropical band of cloudiness, before it travels westward with an active cloud band along its leading edge. Based upon evidence found through case studies, a model of an equatorial anticyclone is proposed in this paper. Numerical computations of cross-equatorial trajectories were performed by using the divergence-vorticity relationships and the vorticity dissipating force, which were obtained through numerical analyses. This paper thus presents an initial step toward the further development of tropical synoptic meteorology, which is expected during the next few years as a result of photographic experiments using the ATS-I and III.

Abstract

Because of poor coverage by synoptic stations, the tropical circulation over the eastern Pacific has not been known too well. As a result of photographic experiments, using the geosynchronous ATS-I satellite, fields of cloud motion over the eastern equatorial Pacific were mapped in detail on a number of days in September 1967. It was found that a large-scale flow from the Southern Hemisphere recurves after crossing the equator to form an anticyclone centered around 10N. Dynamical characteristics of this type of anticyclone were investigated by estimating the vorticity dissipating force from computed values of divergence and vorticity of low-cloud velocities determined from successive ATS-I pictures. The vorticity dissipating force seems to be related closely to the sea-surface temperature which would reduce the frictional coupling between the low-level atmosphere and the underlying sea surface. It was found that the anticyclone in its development stage results in a discontinuity of the intertropical band of cloudiness, before it travels westward with an active cloud band along its leading edge. Based upon evidence found through case studies, a model of an equatorial anticyclone is proposed in this paper. Numerical computations of cross-equatorial trajectories were performed by using the divergence-vorticity relationships and the vorticity dissipating force, which were obtained through numerical analyses. This paper thus presents an initial step toward the further development of tropical synoptic meteorology, which is expected during the next few years as a result of photographic experiments using the ATS-I and III.

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