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Longitudinal localization of tropical intraseasonal variability

Sukhatme, Jai (2013) Longitudinal localization of tropical intraseasonal variability. In: QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL METEOROLOGICAL SOCIETY, 139 (671, P). pp. 414-418.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/qj.1984


Intraseasonal time-scales play an important role in tropical variability. Two modes that contribute significantly to tropical intraseasonal variability (ISV) are the eastward-propagating MaddenJulian Oscillation (MJO), and westward-moving moist equatorial Rossby waves. This note reports on a correspondence between the longitudinal gradient of mean tropical precipitable water (PW), and the geographical regions of genesis, and convective activity, of both these large-scale tropical systems. Our finding is based on an analysis of PW from the MERRA reanalysis product. The data indicate that the mean tropical PW has a dominant wavenumber two (three) structure in longitude in the Northern (Southern) Hemisphere. Departures from a longitudinally homogeneous state are attributed to the influence of subtropical anticyclones, and are accentuated by monsoonal regions of both hemispheres. This mean structure results in a sharply localized longitudinal gradient of PW. Remarkably, regions with positive gradients (such as the Northern and Southern Hemisphere western Indian Ocean), i.e. they have larger PW to the east, are the very zones that are implicated in the formation, and show high levels of convective activity, of the eastward-moving MJO. On the other hand, regions with negative gradients (such as the Southern Hemisphere central Pacific) are the very regions where genesis, and maxima in variance, of westward-moving moist equatorial Rossby waves are known to occur. Apart from providing a first-order longitudinal footprint of the convective phase of these systems, this correspondence reinforces the role of the mean climatic state in tropical ISV. Copyright (c) 2012 Royal Meteorological Society

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to the WILEY-BLACKWELL, USA.
Keywords: MJO; equatorial Rossby waves; precipitable water; mean climatic state
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Centre for Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences
Depositing User: Francis Jayakanth
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2013 11:06
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2013 11:20
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/46475

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