Equatorial Long Waves in Geostationary Satellite Observations and in a Multichannel Sea Surface Temperature Analysis

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Geostationary satellite observations of a zonally oriented sea surface temperature front in the eastern equatorial Pacific were made between 1975 and 1981. Long waves appeared along the front mainly during the summer and fall, except during 1976, the year of an El Niño. The waves have averaged periods of 25 days and wavelengths of 1000 km. At the end of 1981, the long waves also were detected in a new sea surface temperature analysis based on multichannel infrared measurements from a polar-orbiting satellite. This quantitative analysis may improve the ability to resolve low-frequency equatorial wave motions from satellite observations.

1 National Earth Satellite Service, Washington, D.C. 20233.

2EG&G Analytical Services, Inc., Riverdale, Md. 20840.

Geostationary satellite observations of a zonally oriented sea surface temperature front in the eastern equatorial Pacific were made between 1975 and 1981. Long waves appeared along the front mainly during the summer and fall, except during 1976, the year of an El Niño. The waves have averaged periods of 25 days and wavelengths of 1000 km. At the end of 1981, the long waves also were detected in a new sea surface temperature analysis based on multichannel infrared measurements from a polar-orbiting satellite. This quantitative analysis may improve the ability to resolve low-frequency equatorial wave motions from satellite observations.

1 National Earth Satellite Service, Washington, D.C. 20233.

2EG&G Analytical Services, Inc., Riverdale, Md. 20840.

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