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Baranowski, DB, Flatau MK, Flatau PJ, Matthews AJ.  2016.  Impact of atmospheric convectively coupled equatorial Kelvin waves on upper ocean variability. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 121:2045-2059.   10.1002/2015JD024150   Abstract

Convectively coupled Kelvin waves (CCKWs) are atmospheric weather systems that propagate eastward along the equatorial wave guide with phase speeds between 11 and 14 m s−1. They are an important constituent of the convective envelope of the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO), for which ocean-atmosphere interactions play a vital role. Hence, ocean-atmosphere interactions within CCKWs may be important for MJO development and prediction and for tropical climate, in general. Although the atmospheric structure of CCKWs has been well studied, their impact on the underlying ocean is unknown. In this paper, the ocean-atmosphere interactions in CCKWs are investigated by a case study from November 2011 during the CINDY/DYNAMO field experiment, using in situ oceanographic measurements from an ocean glider. The analysis is then extended to a 15 year period using precipitation data from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and surface fluxes from the TropFlux analysis. A methodology is developed to calculate trajectories of CCKWs. CCKW events are strongly controlled by the MJO, with twice as many CCKWs observed during the convectively active phase of the MJO compared to the suppressed phase. Coherent ocean-atmosphere interaction is observed during the passage of a CCKW, which lasts approximately 4 days at any given longitude. Surface wind speed and latent heat flux are enhanced, leading to a transient suppression of the diurnal cycle of sea surface temperature (SST) and a sustained decrease in bulk SST of 0.1°C. Given that a typical composite mean MJO SST anomaly is of the order of 0.3°C, and more than one CCKW can occur during the active phase of a single MJO event, the oceanographic impact of CCKWs is of major importance to the MJO cycle.

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.