900 Eddy Momentum Flux in the African Easterly Jet

Wednesday, 9 January 2019
Hall 4 (Phoenix Convention Center - West and North Buildings)
Joshua Dylan White, North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC; and A. R. Aiyyer

The African easterly jet (AEJ) has been shown to be maintained by both the dry convection associated with the Saharan heat-low and deep moist convection in the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ). Other studies also suggest that geographical features unique to the region help maintain the jet. These studies on the maintenance of the AEJ point out that African easterly waves (AEWs) develop on the hydrodynamically unstable AEJ and serve to dampen and stabilize the jet, but the specific role of AEWs in the maintenance of the AEJ has yet been examined in detail. Understanding this interaction between the eddies and the mean flow can provide information regarding the intermittent nature of AEWs which has further implications for tropical cyclogenesis, regional convection, and general circulation modelling. To determine to what extent AEWs reinforce or diminish the AEJ, we use the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast reanalysis data to create a zonal momentum budget and examine the tendencies within this budget. We will also examine how the AEW tendencies compare to other maintenance mechanisms in order to better understand the structure of the observed AEJ.
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