Links between Tropical Convection and Variations of the Extratropical Circulation during TOGA COARE

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  • 1 Cooperative Research Centre for Southern Hemisphere Meteorology, Monash University, Clayron, Victoria, Australia
  • | 2 Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Abstract

Data from the Intensive Observation Period of the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (November 1992–February 1993) have been used to investigate the links between intraseasonal variations in tropical convection and those in forcing of upper-tropospheric Rossby waves in the extratropics. The primary databases are Geostationary Meteorological Satellite imagery and tropical wind analyses from the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia. A number of 5-day periods showing convection in different locations were chosen. For each period, mean fields of divergence, cloud-top temperature, and upper-tropospheric Rossby wave source are presented. Vorticity budgets are used to demonstrate the processes responsible for the Rossby wave source patterns. The approach follows earlier studies of links between interannual variations of tropical convection associated with the Southern Oscillation and variations of the extratropical circulation.

It is shown that the regions of tropical convection correspond to longitudinally localized Hadley cells. In the subtropics, at the higher-latitude end of each cell, there is a Rossby wave source dipole with anticyclonic and cyclonic forcing. The anticyclonic forcing of Rossby waves is associated with advection of vorticity by the divergent outflow, while the cyclonic forcing is due to the region of convergence immediately above the down-ward branch of the local Hadley cell. Hence, the authors provide a dynamical basis for tropical-midlatitude interactions associated with intraseasonal variations of tropical convection.

Abstract

Data from the Intensive Observation Period of the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean-Atmosphere Response Experiment (November 1992–February 1993) have been used to investigate the links between intraseasonal variations in tropical convection and those in forcing of upper-tropospheric Rossby waves in the extratropics. The primary databases are Geostationary Meteorological Satellite imagery and tropical wind analyses from the Bureau of Meteorology, Australia. A number of 5-day periods showing convection in different locations were chosen. For each period, mean fields of divergence, cloud-top temperature, and upper-tropospheric Rossby wave source are presented. Vorticity budgets are used to demonstrate the processes responsible for the Rossby wave source patterns. The approach follows earlier studies of links between interannual variations of tropical convection associated with the Southern Oscillation and variations of the extratropical circulation.

It is shown that the regions of tropical convection correspond to longitudinally localized Hadley cells. In the subtropics, at the higher-latitude end of each cell, there is a Rossby wave source dipole with anticyclonic and cyclonic forcing. The anticyclonic forcing of Rossby waves is associated with advection of vorticity by the divergent outflow, while the cyclonic forcing is due to the region of convergence immediately above the down-ward branch of the local Hadley cell. Hence, the authors provide a dynamical basis for tropical-midlatitude interactions associated with intraseasonal variations of tropical convection.

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