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A New Perspective on the Excitation of Low-Tropospheric Mixed Rossby–Gravity Waves in Association with Energy Dispersion

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  • 1 Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • | 2 Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre, School of Energy and Environment, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Abstract

This study investigates the synoptic-scale equatorial response to Rossby wave energy dispersion associated with off-equatorial wave activity sources and proposes a new mechanism for triggering low-level mixed Rossby–gravity (MRG) waves. A case study based on observations in boreal summer 2002 reveals that a vortex related to tropical cyclogenesis generated a coherent wave train through southeastward energy dispersion. The southeastward-propagating energy packet gave rise to the equatorial atmospheric response with a temporal scale similar to the wave train and with a structure consistent with the equatorially trapped MRG wave. A baroclinic multilevel anomaly model is employed to verify the excitation of MRG associated with the energy dispersion originating outside of the equatorial region and to explore the discrepancy in the equatorial responses under the different background flows corresponding to El Niño and La Niña. The results show that the prevalence of the low-level westerly flow, the associated zonal wind convergence, and the easterly vertical wind shear can be more favorable for the enhancement of southeastward-propagating energy dispersion and equatorial MRG response in the low troposphere during El Niño than those during La Niña. In addition, the strength of the mean flow can strongly affect the extent of equatorial wave response and modulate its phase and group velocity due to the Doppler shift effect.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Guanghua Chen, Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2718, Beijing 100190, China. E-mail: cgh@mail.iap.ac.cn

Abstract

This study investigates the synoptic-scale equatorial response to Rossby wave energy dispersion associated with off-equatorial wave activity sources and proposes a new mechanism for triggering low-level mixed Rossby–gravity (MRG) waves. A case study based on observations in boreal summer 2002 reveals that a vortex related to tropical cyclogenesis generated a coherent wave train through southeastward energy dispersion. The southeastward-propagating energy packet gave rise to the equatorial atmospheric response with a temporal scale similar to the wave train and with a structure consistent with the equatorially trapped MRG wave. A baroclinic multilevel anomaly model is employed to verify the excitation of MRG associated with the energy dispersion originating outside of the equatorial region and to explore the discrepancy in the equatorial responses under the different background flows corresponding to El Niño and La Niña. The results show that the prevalence of the low-level westerly flow, the associated zonal wind convergence, and the easterly vertical wind shear can be more favorable for the enhancement of southeastward-propagating energy dispersion and equatorial MRG response in the low troposphere during El Niño than those during La Niña. In addition, the strength of the mean flow can strongly affect the extent of equatorial wave response and modulate its phase and group velocity due to the Doppler shift effect.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Guanghua Chen, Center for Monsoon System Research, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, P.O. Box 2718, Beijing 100190, China. E-mail: cgh@mail.iap.ac.cn
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