Maintenance of the African easterly jet
Thorncroft, C. D. and Blackburn, M. (1999) Maintenance of the African easterly jet. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 125 (555). pp. 763-786. ISSN 1477-870X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/qj.49712555502
The maintenance of the African easterly jet (AEJ) has been examined using a zonally symmetric general circulation model with simple parametrizations. It is shown that the AEJ is maintained in association with two diabatically forced meridional circulations: one associated with surface fluxes and dry convection in the Saharan heat-low region and one associated with deep moist convection in the intertropical convergence zone equatorward of this. the heat-low heating, which reaches the height of the AEJ around 700 mb, is particularly important in maintaining the AEJ and its associated meridional gradients in potential vorticity. It is concluded that the mean observed AEJ results from a combination of the diabatically forced meridional circulations which maintain it and easterly waves which weaken it.