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Climatology of easterly wave disturbances over the tropical South Atlantic

Gomes, H. B., Ambrizzi, T., Pontes da Silva, B. F., Hodges, K., Silva Dias, P. L., Herdies, D. L., Silva, M. C. L. and Gomes, H. B. (2019) Climatology of easterly wave disturbances over the tropical South Atlantic. Climate Dynamics, 53 (3-4). pp. 1393-1411. ISSN 0930-7575

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s00382-019-04667-7


A 21-yr climatology of Easterly Waves Disturbances (EWDs) over the Tropical South Atlantic (TSA) has been examined using data from the European Centers for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) interim reanalysis (ERAI) and satellite data. This includes the frequency distribution of EWDs and their interannual variability. The large-scale environment associated with EWDs has been investigated for the coastal region of Northeast Brazil (NEB) for the rainy (April-August) season using a composite analysis. To better understand the life cycle of EWDs, an automated tracking scheme has been used to track vorticity centers associated with the EWDs in the ERAI data. EWDs were first identified in ERAI, resulting in 518 observed cases. These were found to show notable interannual variability with around 16-40 episodes by year and with average lifetime of 4-6 days. Of the identified EWDs, 97% reached the coast of NEB, of which 64% were convective in nature and 14% moved across the NEB region and reached the Amazon. The annual occurrence of EWDs seems to be lower (higher) during El Niño (La Niña). The monthly occurrence of EWDs shows higher activity in the rainy season. EWDs originate in association with five types of system: cold fronts, convective clusters from the west coast of Africa, Intertropical Convergence Zone and Tropical Upper Tropospheric Cyclonic Vortices. The composite analysis presents strong relative vorticity (RV) and divergence anomalies at low levels, as well as in the vertical profiles of relative humidity and vertical velocity (omega). The precipitation composites show that the EWDs propagate between the TSA and NEB and contribute at least 60% of the total rainfall over the east coast of NEB throughout the rainy season.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:76413


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