FastFind »   Lastname: doi:10.1029/ Year: Advanced Search  

Geophysical Monograph Series

 

Keywords

  • Ocean-atmosphere interaction
  • Climatic changes

Article

GEOPHYSICAL MONOGRAPH SERIES, VOL. 147, PP. 49-69, 2004

Westerly wind events in the tropical Pacific and their influence on the coupled ocean-atmosphere system: A review

M. Lengaigne, J.-P. Boulanger, C. Menkes, P. Delecluse, and J. Slingo

Observational and modeling aspects about Westerly Wind Events (WWEs) and their influence on the tropical Pacific ocean-atmosphere system are reviewed. WWEs are a large part of the intraseasonal zonal wind activity over the warm pool. They have typical amplitudes of 7 m s−1, zonal width of 20° longitude and duration of about 8 days. Their root causes are often a combination of various factors including the Madden-Julian Oscillation, cold surges from mid-latitudes, tropical cyclones and other mesoscale phenomena. The relationship between WWEs and the ENSO cycle is complex, involving among others the equatorial characteristics of the WWEs, the oceanic background state and the internal atmospheric variability. Both observational and modeling studies demonstrate that WWEs tend to cool the far western Pacific, shift the warm pool eastward and warm the central-eastern Pacific through the generation of Kelvin waves. They are therefore important processes for the central and eastern Pacific warming during the onset and development phase of El Niño. The strong atmospheric feedbacks that are likely to be generated by the ocean response to WWEs even suggest that a single WWE is capable of establishing the conditions under which El Niño can occur. The important role played by WWEs in the evolution and amplitude of recent El Niño events may therefore strongly limit the predictability of El Niño.

Citation: Lengaigne, M., J.-P. Boulanger, C. Menkes, P. Delecluse, and J. Slingo (2004), Westerly wind events in the tropical Pacific and their influence on the coupled ocean-atmosphere system: A review, in Earth's Climate: The Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 147, edited by C. Wang, S.-P. Xie, and J. A. Carton, pp. 49–69, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/147GM03.

Cited By

Please wait one moment ...