Abstract

It has been suggested that the potential temperature of the tropical tropopause may be linked to the energy of air flowing into storms, and Previous studies have sought to correlate the subannual fluctuations of the two quantities. The formulations used in these studies also provide estimates of the mean tropopause potential temperatures, but such temperatures are much lower than the observed values. In this work we reexamine the problem. The earlier thermodynamic formulation is replaced by a more accurate form, and the appropriate humidity content of storm air is introduced and justified. The data now show that, averaged over the tropical ocean regions, the mean potential temperature of the tropopause is determined accurately and directly by the mean sea surface temperature. Continental conditions are significantly different and require further study. It appears desirable to undertake detailed investigations of the local relationship between surface storm conditions and tropopause characteristics.

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