The Existence and Vertical Structure of Fast, Eastward-Moving Disturbances in the Equatorial Troposphere

Ralph F. Milliff National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Roland A. Madden National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Abstract

Eastward phase propagation, at speed faster than 30 m s−1, of a signal in the equatorial troposphere of the Eastern Pacific is detected, first in historical meteorological observations and then in more recent data. A first baroclinic mode vertical structure is identified with this signal in separate analyses based on linear theory and complex empirical orthogonal functions, respectively. This rapid, eastward signal is conceptualized as a far-field dispersion product of strong convection associated with the intraseasonal tropical oscillation in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific.

Abstract

Eastward phase propagation, at speed faster than 30 m s−1, of a signal in the equatorial troposphere of the Eastern Pacific is detected, first in historical meteorological observations and then in more recent data. A first baroclinic mode vertical structure is identified with this signal in separate analyses based on linear theory and complex empirical orthogonal functions, respectively. This rapid, eastward signal is conceptualized as a far-field dispersion product of strong convection associated with the intraseasonal tropical oscillation in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific.

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