Downward migration in the tropical circulation!

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After a month in editorial system purgatory, just submitted to Geophysical Research Letters, our paper on “Downward migration of the zonal-mean circulation in the tropical atmosphere”, led by Kevin DallaSanta.

Earth’s atmosphere has certain recurring patterns which are “annular,” spanning an entire latitude circle. Annular patterns have proven to be surprisingly useful for weather and climate prediction. However, in the tropics, annular patterns have not been studied. We show that annular variability in the tropics does exist, and it contains interesting features that may be useful for prediction. In particular, zonal anomalies in the circulation migrate downward from the tropopause (about 16 km) to the surface over 10 days. These features are also apparent in a relatively simple climate model, which helps direct further research.