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Journal Article: BibTeX citation key:  Arnault2010a
Arnault, J. & Roux, F. (2010) Failed cyclogenetic evolution of a West African monsoon perturbation observed during AMMA SOP-3. IN Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 67. 1863–1883.
Added by: Boichard Jean-Luc 2010-08-05 10:13:45    Last Edited by: Fanny Lefebvre 2010-11-02 18:06:50
Categories: General
Creators: Arnault, Roux
Collection: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences

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The so-called “perturbation D” was a nondeveloping West African disturbance observed near Dakar (Senegal) during special observing period (SOP) 3 of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) in September 2006. Its mesoscale environment is described with the dropsonde data obtained during flights on three successive days with the Service des Avions Français Instrumentés pour la Recherche en Environnement Falcon-20 aircraft. Processes involved in this evolution are studied qualitatively with ECMWF reanalyses and Meteosat-9 images. The evolution of perturbation D was the result of an interaction between processes at different scales such as the African easterly jet (AEJ), a midtropospheric African easterly wave (AEW), a series of mesoscale convective systems, the monsoon flow, dry low- to midlevel anticyclonic Saharan air, and a midlatitude upper-level trough. The interaction between these processes is further investigated through a numerical simulation conducted with the French nonhydrostatic Méso-NH model with parameterized convection. The growth of the simulated disturbance is quantified with an energy budget including barotropic and baroclinic conversions of eddy kinetic energy, proposed previously by the authors for a limited domain. The development of the simulated system is found to result from barotropic–baroclinic growth over West Africa and baroclinic growth over the tropical eastern Atlantic. It is suggested that these energy conversions were the result of an adjustment of the wind in response to the pressure decrease, presumably caused by convective activity, and other synoptic processes. A comparison with the developing case of Helene (2006) reveals that both perturbations had similar evolutions over the continent but were associated with different synoptic conditions over the ocean. For perturbation D, the anticyclonic curvature of the AEJ, caused by the intensification of the eastern ridge by a strong flow of dry Saharan air, prohibited the formation of a closed and convergent circulation. Moreover, a midlatitude upper-level trough approaching from the northwest contributed to increase the northward stretching and then weakened the perturbation. It is therefore suggested that at least as important as the intensity of the AEW trough and associated convection leaving the West African continent are synoptic conditions associated with the Saharan heat low, the subtropical high pressure zone, and even the midlatitude circulation, all of which are instrumental in the (non)cyclogenetic evolution of AEWs in the Cape Verde Islands region.
Added by: Fanny Lefebvre    Last Edited by: Fanny Lefebvre