Equatorial waves in the lower stratosphere. I: A novel detection method

JC Tindall, J Thuburn, EJ Highwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Wavenumber-frequency spectral analysis and linear wave theory are combined in a novel method to quantitatively estimate equatorial wave activity in the tropical lower stratosphere. The method requires temperature and velocity observations that are regularly spaced in latitude, longitude and time; it is therefore applied to the ECMWF 15-year re-analysis dataset (ERA-15). Signals consistent with idealized Kelvin and Rossby-gravity waves are found at wavenumbers and frequencies in agreement with previous studies. When averaged over 1981-93, the Kelvin wave explains approximately 1 K2 of temperature variance on the equator at 100 hPa, while the Rossby-gravity wave explains approximately 1 m2s-2 of meridional wind variance. Some inertio-gravity wave and equatorial Rossby wave signals are also found; however the resolution of ERA-15 is not sufficient for the method to provide an accurate climatology of waves with high meridional structure.
Translated title of the contributionEquatorial waves in the lower stratosphere. I: A novel detection method
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177 - 194
Number of pages18
JournalQuarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
Volume132 (614)
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Royal Meteorological Society

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