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Baranowski, DB, Flatau MK, Flatau PJ, Schmidt JM.  2017.  Multiple and spin off initiation of atmospheric convectively coupled Kelvin waves. Climate Dynamics. 49:2991-3009.   10.1007/s00382-016-3487-7   AbstractWebsite

A novel atmospheric convectively coupled Kelvin wave trajectories database, derived from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission precipitation data, is used to investigate initiation of sequential Kelvin wave events. Based on the analysis of beginnings of trajectories from years 1998-2012 it is shown that sequential event initiations can be divided into two distinct categories: multiple initiations and spin off initiations, both of which involve interactions with ocean surface and upper ocean temperature variability. The results of composite analysis of the 83 multiple Kelvin wave initiations show that the local thermodynamic forcing related to the diurnal sea surface temperature variability is responsible for sequential Kelvin wave development. The composite analysis of 91 spin off Kelvin wave initiations shows that the dynamic forcing is a dominant effect and the local thermodynamic forcing is secondary. Detail case studies of both multiple and spin off initiations confirm statistical analysis. A multiple initiation occurs in the presence of the high upper ocean diurnal cycle and a spin off initiation results from both dynamic and local thermodynamic processes. The dynamic forcing is related to increased wind speed and latent heat flux likely associated with an off equatorial circulation. In addition a theoretical study of the sequential Kelvin waves is performed using a shallow water model. Finally, conceptual models of these two types of initiations are proposed.

Baranowski, DB, Flatau MK, Flatau PJ, Matthews AJ.  2016.  Phase locking between atmospheric convectively coupled equatorial Kelvin waves and the diurnal cycle of precipitation over the Maritime Continent. Geophysical Research Letters. 43:8269-8276.   10.1002/2016gl069602   AbstractWebsite

Convectively coupled Kelvin waves (CCKWs) are a major component of the tropical atmospheric circulation, propagating eastward around the equatorial belt. Here we show that there are scale interactions between CCKWs and the diurnal cycle over the Maritime Continent. In particular, CCKW packets that pass a base point in the eastern Indian Ocean at 90 degrees E between 0600 and 0900UTC subsequently arrive over Sumatra in phase with the diurnal cycle of convection. As the distance between Sumatra and Borneo is equal to the distance traveled by a CCKW in 1day, these waves are then also in phase with the diurnal cycle over Borneo. Consequently, this subset of CCKWs has a precipitation signal up to a factor of 3 larger than CCKWs that arrive at other times of the day and a 40% greater chance of successfully traversing the Maritime Continent.

Matthews, AJ, Baranowski DB, Heywood KJ, Flatau PJ, Schmidtko S.  2014.  The surface diurnal warm layer in the Indian Ocean during CINDY/DYNAMO. Journal of Climate. 27:9101-9122.   10.1175/jcli-d-14-00222.1   AbstractWebsite

A surface diurnal warm layer is diagnosed from Seaglider observations and develops on half of the days in the Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability/Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (CINDY/DYNAMO) Indian Ocean experiment. The diurnal warm layer occurs on days of high solar radiation flux (>80 W m(-2)) and low wind speed (<6 ms(-1)) and preferentially in the inactive stage of the Madden-Julian oscillation. Its diurnal harmonic has an exponential vertical structure with a depth scale of 4-5m (dependent on chlorophyll concentration), consistent with forcing by absorption of solar radiation. The effective sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly due to the diurnal warm layer often reaches 0.8 degrees C in the afternoon, with a daily mean of 0.2 degrees C, rectifying the diurnal cycle onto longer time scales. This SST anomaly drives an anomalous flux of 4Wm(-2) that cools the ocean. Alternatively, in a climate model where this process is unresolved, this represents an erroneous flux that warms the ocean. A simple model predicts a diurnal warm layer to occur on 30%-50% of days across the tropical warm pool. On the remaining days, with low solar radiation and high wind speeds, a residual diurnal cycle is observed by the Seaglider, with a diurnal harmonic of temperature that decreases linearly with depth. As wind speed increases, this already weak temperature gradient decreases further, tending toward isothermal conditions.