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Westerly Wind Bursts and Their Relationship with Intraseasonal Variations and ENSO. Part II: Energetics over the Western and Central Pacific

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  • 1 Institute of Observational Research for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine–Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan
  • | 2 Center for Climate System Research, University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, and Institute of Observational Research for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine–Earth Science and Technology, Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Japan
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Abstract

The mechanism of synoptic-scale eddy development in the generation of westerly wind bursts (WWBs) over the western–central Pacific, and their relationship with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), were examined. In the WWB occurrences, barotropic structures of equatorial eddy westerlies with cyclonic disturbances were found from the surface to the upper troposphere. The dominant contributions to substantial eddy kinetic energy (EKE) were the barotropic energy conversion (KmKe) in the lower and middle tropospheres and the conversion from eddy available potential energy (PeKe) in the upper troposphere. Low-frequency environmental westerlies centered near the equator preceded strong zonal convergence and meridional shear, resulting in the substantial KmKe. The activation of synoptic convection also contributed to an increase in EKE through PeKe. These energies were redistributed to the lower-equatorial troposphere through energy flux convergence (GKe). These results showed that environmental fields contribute to the EKE increase near the equator and are important factors in WWB occurrences. Next, eddy growth was compared under different phases of MJO and ENSO. The MJO westerly phases of strong MJO events were classified into two groups, in terms of ENSO phases. Higher EKE values were found over the equatorial central Pacific in the WWB–ENSO correlated (pre–El Niño) periods. The energetics during these periods comported with those of the WWB generations. In the uncorrelated periods, the enhancement of eddy disturbances occurred far from the equator near the Philippines, where the activities of the easterly wave disturbances are well known. It is noteworthy that the enhanced region of the disturbances in the pre–El Niño periods coincided with the vicinity of large-scale MJO convection. It is suggested that coincidence corresponds with an enhancement of the internal disturbances embedded in the MJO, which is found only when the environmental conditions are favorable in association with ENSO.

Corresponding author address: Ayako Seiki, Institute of Observational Research for Global Change, JAMSTEC, 2-15 Natsushimachou, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan. Email: aseiki@jamstec.go.jp

Abstract

The mechanism of synoptic-scale eddy development in the generation of westerly wind bursts (WWBs) over the western–central Pacific, and their relationship with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO), were examined. In the WWB occurrences, barotropic structures of equatorial eddy westerlies with cyclonic disturbances were found from the surface to the upper troposphere. The dominant contributions to substantial eddy kinetic energy (EKE) were the barotropic energy conversion (KmKe) in the lower and middle tropospheres and the conversion from eddy available potential energy (PeKe) in the upper troposphere. Low-frequency environmental westerlies centered near the equator preceded strong zonal convergence and meridional shear, resulting in the substantial KmKe. The activation of synoptic convection also contributed to an increase in EKE through PeKe. These energies were redistributed to the lower-equatorial troposphere through energy flux convergence (GKe). These results showed that environmental fields contribute to the EKE increase near the equator and are important factors in WWB occurrences. Next, eddy growth was compared under different phases of MJO and ENSO. The MJO westerly phases of strong MJO events were classified into two groups, in terms of ENSO phases. Higher EKE values were found over the equatorial central Pacific in the WWB–ENSO correlated (pre–El Niño) periods. The energetics during these periods comported with those of the WWB generations. In the uncorrelated periods, the enhancement of eddy disturbances occurred far from the equator near the Philippines, where the activities of the easterly wave disturbances are well known. It is noteworthy that the enhanced region of the disturbances in the pre–El Niño periods coincided with the vicinity of large-scale MJO convection. It is suggested that coincidence corresponds with an enhancement of the internal disturbances embedded in the MJO, which is found only when the environmental conditions are favorable in association with ENSO.

Corresponding author address: Ayako Seiki, Institute of Observational Research for Global Change, JAMSTEC, 2-15 Natsushimachou, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan. Email: aseiki@jamstec.go.jp

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