National Weather Center Colloquium
Variability of African Easterly Waves
Dr. Chris Thorncroft
Professor and Chair
Department of Atmospheric & Environmental Sciences
22 October 2013, 4:00 PM
National Weather Center, Room 1313
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
The first part of the talk will review the current state of knowledge of the observed life cycle of African easterly waves (AEWs) including a consideration of the regional variations in the structure of AEWs as they move across the African continent and into the tropical Atlantic. Numerical weather prediction analyses will be combined with observations from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission to show that, while AEWs tend to be characterized by vorticity peaks at mid-levels over land, at the coast there is a tendency for all AEWs to develop low-level circulations. The regional differences in the AEW structure will be related to differences in the nature of the convection and associated heating rate profiles. The second part of the talk will highlight the nature of observed AEW variability and its causes including the roles played by the Madden-Julian Oscillation and convectively coupled Kelvin waves. The consequences of this variability for downstream tropical cyclogenesis will also be considered.
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