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Katabatic Winds in the Equatorial Andes

Manuel E. LópezW.E. Howell Assoc., Inc., Lexington, Mass.

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Wallace E. HowellW.E. Howell Assoc., Inc., Lexington, Mass.

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Abstract

Diurnal air tides that carry Pacific maritime air eastward through passes and over lower portions of the continental divide are remarkably similar over long stretches of the Andes from northern Chile to central Colombia, embracing both desert and jungle climates on the Pacific Coast. Even where the maritime air is at its warmest, it overflows the divide as a cold current producing katabatic flows down the east slope of the range and often producing hydraulic jump phenomena in the valleys immediately to the east. The significance of this pattern for the rainfall climate of western Colombia is discussed.

Abstract

Diurnal air tides that carry Pacific maritime air eastward through passes and over lower portions of the continental divide are remarkably similar over long stretches of the Andes from northern Chile to central Colombia, embracing both desert and jungle climates on the Pacific Coast. Even where the maritime air is at its warmest, it overflows the divide as a cold current producing katabatic flows down the east slope of the range and often producing hydraulic jump phenomena in the valleys immediately to the east. The significance of this pattern for the rainfall climate of western Colombia is discussed.

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