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2016
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.

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.