Convectively coupled Kelvin waves in aquachannel simulations: 1. Propagation speeds, composite structures, and comparison with aquaplanets Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractConvectively coupled Kelvin waves (CCKWs) represent a significant contribution to the total variability of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). This study analyzes the structure and propagation of CCKWs simulated by the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model using two types of idealized domains. These are the “aquachannel,” a flat rectangle on a beta plane with zonally periodic boundary conditions and length equal to the Earth's circumference at the equator, and the “aquapatch,” a square domain with zonal extent equal to one third of the aquachannel's length. A series of simulations are performed, including a doubly nested aquapatch, in which convection is solved explicitly along the equator. The model intercomparison is carried out throughout the use of several techniques such as power spectra, filtering, wave tracking, and compositing, and it is extended to some simulations from the Aquaplanet Experiment (APE). Results show that despite the equatorial superrotation bias produced by the WRF simulations, the CCKWs simulated with this model propagate with similar phase speeds (relative to the low‐level mean flow) as the corresponding waves from the APE simulations. Horizontal and vertical structures of the CCKWs simulated with aquachannels are also in overall good agreement with those from aquaplanet simulations and observations, although there is a distortion of the zonal extent of anomalies when the shorter aquapatch is used.

publication date

  • October 16, 2016

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • June 24, 2021 4:46 AM

Full Author List

  • Blanco JE; Nolan DS; Tulich SN

author count

  • 3

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2169-897X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2169-8996

Additional Document Info


  • 121


  • 19