The Presence of Linear Wavelike Modes in a Zonally Symmetric Model of the Tropical Atmosphere

John R. Anderson Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

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Duane E. Stevens Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

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Abstract

The linear, zonally symmetric modes of the basic state of a Hadley cell are examined. We find that the inclusion of the divergent basic state leads to the formation of a new class of slowly oscillating modes, some of which have periods in the range of 40–50 days. The modes have many features in common with the observed tropical 40–50-day oscillation; however, an explanation for the observed fluctuations in convective cloudiness remains a topic for future work.

Abstract

The linear, zonally symmetric modes of the basic state of a Hadley cell are examined. We find that the inclusion of the divergent basic state leads to the formation of a new class of slowly oscillating modes, some of which have periods in the range of 40–50 days. The modes have many features in common with the observed tropical 40–50-day oscillation; however, an explanation for the observed fluctuations in convective cloudiness remains a topic for future work.

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