Volume 25, Issue 1-3, March 2021
INFLUENCE OF CONVECTIVELY COUPLED EQUATORIAL KELVIN WAVES ON MARCH-MAY PRECIPITATION OVER EAST AFRICA
Authors: Phillip Okello Ochieng, Guirong Tan, Victor Ongoma, Isaiah Nyandega
Abstract: Convectively coupled equatorial Kelvin waves (CCEKWs) are those types of equatorially trapped disturbances that propagate eastward and are among the most commonintra-seasonal oscillations in the tropics. There existstwo-way feedback between the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and these equatorially trapped disturbances. Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) was utilized as a proxy for deep convection. For CCEKWs, the modes are located over the West Atlantic, equatorial West Africa, and the Indian Ocean. The influence of other circulations and climate dynamics is studied for finding other drivers of climate within East Africa. The results show a positive relationship between Indian and Atlantic Oceans Sea Surface Temperatures and March-May rainfall over equatorial East Africa over the period of 1980 to 2010. This influence is driven by the Walker circulation and anomalous moisture influx enhanced by winds. Composite analysis reveals strong lower-tropospheric westerlies during the active phase of the CCKWs activities over Equatorial East Africa. The winds are in the opposite direction with the upper-tropospheric winds, which are easterlies. Singular Value Decomposition shows a strong coupling interaction between rainfall over equatorial East Africa and CCKWs. This study concludes that Kelvin waves are not the main factors that influence rainfall during the rainy season. Previous studies show that the main influencing factors are ITCZ, El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and tropical anticyclones that borders the African continent. However, CCKWs are a significant factor during the dry seasons.
Keywords: Convectively Coupled Equatorial Kelvin Waves; Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone; Singular Value Decomposition; East Africa; Precipitation
Received: October 08, 2020 | Revised: March 18, 2021 | Accepted: March 21, 2021