Introduction: Tropical Meteorology

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Introduction: Tropical Meteorology
For Further Reading
Please read over Chapter 1 of:
“Introduction to Tropical Meteorology,” 2nd Edition
http://www.meted.ucar.edu/tropical/textbook_2nd_edition/print_1.htm
(Free COMET/MetEd account required.)
This material will prove useful as we move into in-depth
discussions of aspects of tropical climatology and
circulations later this week and into next week.
General Definition of the Tropics
“…the latitudes at which the Coriolis force, horizontal
temperature gradients, and horizontal pressure
gradients are all relatively weak…”
• Why might these all be weak in the tropics?
• What implications do they have upon the climatology
of the tropics?
Specific Definitions of the Tropics
“The range of latitudes where the sun can be directly
overhead at any point during the year.”
(Figure obtained from Introduction to Tropical Meteorology, 2nd Edition, © 2011 COMET.)
Specific Definitions of the Tropics
“The range of latitudes where the net annual incoming
solar radiation is greater than the net annual outgoing
terrestrial radiation. ”
(Figure obtained from Introduction to Tropical Meteorology, 2nd Edition, © 2011 COMET.)
Discussion Question #1
Assume that incoming solar radiation is at a maximum at
the equator and decreases to the north and south…
• What is the meridional temperature distribution that results from
this situation?
• Assuming that this temperature distribution holds throughout the
troposphere, from thickness arguments, what is the resulting
meridional distribution of surface pressure?
• Where might one expect rising motion under such conditions?
Specific Definitions of the Tropics
“The region of net ascent, easterly boundary layer flow,
and lower surface pressures associated with a
meridional circulation centered near the Equator.”
(Figure obtained from Introduction to Tropical Meteorology, 2nd Edition, © 2011 COMET.)
Specific Definitions of the Tropics
“The range of latitudes where the diurnal temperature
range is greater than the range between the highest
and lowest annual high temperature…”
(Figures obtained from Introduction to Tropical Meteorology, 2nd Edition, © 2011 COMET.)
Meteorology of the Tropics
climatology of the tropics
radiative-convective
equilibrium
tropical meridional and zonal circulations
El Nino Southern Oscillation
subtropical ridges and the trade
wind inversion
equatorial waves and oscillatory modes
monsoons
tropical disturbances and jets
Tropical Cyclone Meteorology
tropical cyclone formation
tropical cyclone climatology
interseasonal and intraseasonal variability
mature tropical cyclone structure
tropical cyclone intensity change
extratropical and tropical transition
tropical cyclones and
climate change
tropical cyclone motion
tropical cyclone monitoring
and forecasting
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