Comments on “The Significance of Half-inertial Flow in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific”

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  • 1 NOAA/Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, Miami, Florida
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Abstract

It is shown that the instability waves regularly observed in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans do not necessarily contain oscillations of half the local inertial frequency. Rather, it is hypothesized that the flow approaches the half-inertial conditions only at times when the instability waves develop sufficient baroclinic intensity to saturate the geostrophic vorticity limit of the gradient wind equation for anticyclonic flow.

Abstract

It is shown that the instability waves regularly observed in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic oceans do not necessarily contain oscillations of half the local inertial frequency. Rather, it is hypothesized that the flow approaches the half-inertial conditions only at times when the instability waves develop sufficient baroclinic intensity to saturate the geostrophic vorticity limit of the gradient wind equation for anticyclonic flow.

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