Articles | Volume 2, issue 2
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 311–329, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2-311-2021
Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 311–329, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/wcd-2-311-2021

Research article 12 Apr 2021

Research article | 12 Apr 2021

African easterly waves in an idealized general circulation model: instability and wave packet diagnostics

Joshua White and Anantha Aiyyer

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Cited articles

Aiyyer, A., Mekonnen, A., and Schreck III, C. J.: Projection of Tropical Cyclones on Wavenumber-Frequency-Filtered Equatorial Waves, J. Climate, 25, 3653–3658, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00451.1, 2012. a
Alaka, G. J. and Maloney, E. D.: The Influence of the MJO on Upstream Precursors to African Easterly Waves, J. Climate, 25, 3219–3236, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00232.1, 2012. a, b, c
Alaka, G. J. and Maloney, E. D.: The Intraseasonal Variability of African Easterly Wave Energetics, J. Climate, 27, 6559–6580, https://doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00146.1, 2014. a, b, c
Berry, G. J. and Thorncroft, C. D.: African Easterly Wave Dynamics in a Mesoscale Numerical Model: The Upscale Role of Convection, J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 1267–1283, 2012a. a
Berry, G. J. and Thorncroft, C. D.: African Easterly Wave Dynamics in a Mesoscale Numerical Model: The Upscale Role of Convection, J. Atmos. Sci., 69, 1267–1283, https://doi.org/10.1175/JAS-D-11-099.1, 2012b. a
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Using a simple general circulation model, we examine the structure of waves in the mid-tropospheric jet over North Africa. We show that waves occur in near-stationary groups or wave packets. As they are not swept out of the jet, this may provide the opportunity for the packets to amplify via feedback from other energy sources like rain-producing cloud complexes and mineral dust that are known to operate here. Our results address the criticism that the easterly jet is too short to sustain waves.