Balanced dynamics of deep and shallow Hadley circulations in the tropics




artículo original


González, Alex O.
Mora Rojas, Gabriela

Título de la revista

ISSN de la revista

Título del volumen


Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems 6(3): 777-804


This paper examines the dynamics of large-scale overturning circulations in the tropical atmosphere using an idealized zonally symmetric model on the equatorial b-plane. Under certain simplifications of its coefficients, the elliptic partial differential equation for the transverse circulation can be solved by first performing a vertical transform to obtain a horizontal structure equation, and then using Green’s function to solve the horizontal structure equation. When deep diabatic heating is present in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the deep Hadley circulation is of first-order importance. In the absence of deep diabatic heating, the interior circulation associated with Ekman pumping cannot penetrate deep into the troposphere because the resistance of fluid parcels to horizontal motion (i.e., inertial stability) is significantly smaller than their resistance to vertical motion (i.e., static stability). In this scenario, only a shallow Hadley circulation exists. The shallow overturning circulation is characterized by meridional velocities as large as 7 m s21 at the top of the boundary layer, in qualitative agreement with observations in the tropical eastern Pacific. The meridional asymmetry between the winter and summer deep and shallow Hadley cells is attributed to the anisotropy of the inertial stability parameter, and as the ITCZ widens meridionally or as the forcing involves higher vertical wave numbers, the asymmetry between the winter and summer cells increases.


Artículo científico -- Universidad de Costa Rica. Centro de Investigaciones Geofísicas, 2014

Palabras clave

clima, atmósfera, presión atmosférica, Climatología