Abstract

This paper compliments an earlier paper on the June-August Hadley Cell by giving a detailed analysis of the December to February Hadley Cell as seen in a 30-year climatology of ERA Interim data. The focus is on the dynamics of the upper branch of the Hadley Cell. There are significant differences between the Hadley Cells in the two solsticial seasons. These are particularly associated with the ITCZs staying north of the equator and with mean westerlies in the equatorial regions of the E Pacific and Atlantic in December to February. The latter enables Westward-moving Mixed Rossby Gravity waves to be slow moving in those regions and therefore respond strongly to upstream off-equatorial active convection. However, the main result is that in both seasons it is the regions and times of active convection that predominantly lead to upper tropospheric out-flows and structures that average to give the mean flow towards the winter pole, and the steady and transient fluxes of momentum and vorticity that balance the Coriolis terms. The response to active convection in preferred regions is shown by means of regressions on the data from the climatology and by synoptic examples from one season. Eddies with tropical origin are seen to be important in their own right and also in their interaction with higher latitude systems. There is support for the relevance of a new conceptual model of the Hadley Cell based on the sporadic nature of active tropical convection in time and space.

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