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Horizontal and Vertical Structure of the Lake Turkana Jet

Joseph Hiri KinuthiaKenya Meteorological Department, Nairobi, Kenya

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Abstract

An observational study was undertaken at selected sites in north Kenya (Turkana channel) in February 1983 and in June–July 1984 to investigate the horizontal and vertical extent of the Turkana low-level jet. Observations indicate that strong winds exist throughout the channel but speeds decreased where the channel became wider. Two distinct jet streams, detached from each other, exist throughout the channel except in Marsabit where they seem to have combined into a single, very high wind jet. Computations show that divergence is a predominant feature throughout the day but was more pronounced in the morning in both seasons. Anticyclonic and cyclonic vorticity existed in both seasons in the northern half and southern half of the channel, respectively, at lower levels. Finally, it is speculated that the Turkana jet could likely affect the easterly low-level jet in West Africa.

Abstract

An observational study was undertaken at selected sites in north Kenya (Turkana channel) in February 1983 and in June–July 1984 to investigate the horizontal and vertical extent of the Turkana low-level jet. Observations indicate that strong winds exist throughout the channel but speeds decreased where the channel became wider. Two distinct jet streams, detached from each other, exist throughout the channel except in Marsabit where they seem to have combined into a single, very high wind jet. Computations show that divergence is a predominant feature throughout the day but was more pronounced in the morning in both seasons. Anticyclonic and cyclonic vorticity existed in both seasons in the northern half and southern half of the channel, respectively, at lower levels. Finally, it is speculated that the Turkana jet could likely affect the easterly low-level jet in West Africa.

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