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Analysis of Apparent Coupling between an Oceanic Kelvin Wave and Atmospheric Convection during the Winter of 1986/87

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York
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Abstract

This study analyzes the apparent coupling between an intraseasonal oceanic Kelvin wave in the Pacific Ocean and atmospheric moist deep convection for a particularly high-amplitude event during the winter of 1986/87. This wave was initiated initially by westerly wind bursts that developed in association with the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). After initiation by the MJO, the active convective anomaly slowed to roughly 1.5 m s−1, suggesting that the event became distinct from the MJO, which usually propagates at roughly 5–7 m s−1. This study demonstrates how surface winds, currents, SST anomalies, fluxes of sensible and latent heat across the sea surface, and atmospheric convection evolve throughout the event. Results suggest that the convective envelope and oceanic Kelvin wave are mutually beneficial and serve to prolong and enhance each other.

Corresponding author address: Paul E. Roundy, DAES–ES351, University at Albany, Albany, NY 12222. Email: roundy@atmos.albany.edu

Abstract

This study analyzes the apparent coupling between an intraseasonal oceanic Kelvin wave in the Pacific Ocean and atmospheric moist deep convection for a particularly high-amplitude event during the winter of 1986/87. This wave was initiated initially by westerly wind bursts that developed in association with the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). After initiation by the MJO, the active convective anomaly slowed to roughly 1.5 m s−1, suggesting that the event became distinct from the MJO, which usually propagates at roughly 5–7 m s−1. This study demonstrates how surface winds, currents, SST anomalies, fluxes of sensible and latent heat across the sea surface, and atmospheric convection evolve throughout the event. Results suggest that the convective envelope and oceanic Kelvin wave are mutually beneficial and serve to prolong and enhance each other.

Corresponding author address: Paul E. Roundy, DAES–ES351, University at Albany, Albany, NY 12222. Email: roundy@atmos.albany.edu

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