Low-Level African Easterly Wave Activity and Its Relation to Atlantic Tropical Cyclogenesis in 2001

Ross, Robert S.; Krishnamurti, T. N.
December 2007
Monthly Weather Review;Dec2007, Vol. 135 Issue 12, p3950
Academic Journal
This paper provides new information on the low-level (850 hPa) structure and behavior of African easterly waves (AEWs) and relates this information to previous studies. Individual AEWs that occurred during June–September of 2001 are studied by a synoptic approach that employs Hovmöller diagrams, wave track maps, and case studies. The focus is on two AEW regimes in the lower troposphere over North Africa: a dry regime to the north of the African easterly jet (AEJ) coincident with the surface position of the monsoon trough near 20°N, and a wet regime to the south of the jet coincident with the near-equatorial rainbelt near 10°N. The following issues are addressed: the origin of the waves seen in the two wave regimes, relation of the wave activity to the mean positions of the surface monsoon trough and the 600–700-hPa AEJ, collocation of the tracks of the two wave regimes off the African coast, and diversity in low-level wave behavior that includes merging, splitting, and dissipation of the cyclonic vorticity centers associated with the wave troughs. The relationship between the waves following the two tracks is examined as well as the relationship between the low-level wave activity and Atlantic tropical cyclogenesis in 2001. It is shown that the two wave regimes can interact, and that both regimes were instrumental in Atlantic tropical cyclogenesis in 2001.


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