Skip to main content

Tracking Kelvin waves from the equatorial troposphere into the stratosphere

Author(s): Flannaghan, Thomas J; Fueglistaler, Stephan

To refer to this page use:
Abstract: Convectively coupled Kelvin waves in the troposphere have a vertically propagating component which propagates through the tropical tropopause layer into the stratosphere. In the tropical tropopause layer above the typical top of deep convection, these waves propagate as dry waves. In the stratosphere they contribute to the forcing of the stratospheric quasi‐biennial oscillation. Here, we address the challenge to track individual waves in a region where both static stability and background wind rapidly change with a new algorithm that operates in real space and uses the full longitude/height/time information available to reliably identify Kelvin waves. We argue that our algorithm overcomes inherent ambiguities in previously published methods. Specifically, our algorithm cleanly separates wave activity and number of waves, and successfully tracks waves also in regions where background wind reduces wave amplitudes. Applied to ECMWF reanalysis data for the period 1989–2011, we obtain a statistical description of Kelvin wave propagation that shows propagation through the TTL into the stratosphere occurs predominantly over the Indian Ocean and Atlantic.
Publication Date: 8-Nov-2012
Citation: Flannaghan, Thomas J., and Stephan Fueglistaler. "Tracking Kelvin waves from the equatorial troposphere into the stratosphere." Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 117, no. D21 (2012): D21108. doi:10.1029/2012JD017448.
DOI: doi:10.1029/2012JD017448
ISSN: 2169-897X
EISSN: 2169-8996
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

Items in OAR@Princeton are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.