The role of multiscale interaction in synoptic-scale eddy kinetic energy over the western North Pacific in autumn

Chih Hua Tsou, Huang Hsiung Hsu, Pang Chi Hsu

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This study formulates a synoptic-scale eddy (SSE) kinetic energy equation by partitioning the original field into seasonal mean circulation, intraseasonal oscillation (ISO), and SSEs to examine the multiscale interactions over the western North Pacific (WNP) in autumn. In addition, the relative contribution of synopticmean and synoptic-ISO interactions to SSE kinetic energy was quantitatively estimated by further separating barotropic energy conversion (CK) into synoptic-mean barotropic energy conversion (CKS-M) and synoptic-ISO barotropic energy conversion (CKS-ISO) components. The development of tropical SSE in the lower troposphere is mainly attributed to CK associated with multiscale interactions. Mean cyclonic circulation in the lower troposphere consistently provides kinetic energy to SSEs (CKS-M>0) during the ISO westerly and easterly phases. However, CKS-ISO during the ISO westerly and easterly phases differs considerably. During the ISO westerly phase, the enhanced ISO cyclonic flow converts energy to SSEs (CKS-ISO > 0). The magnitude of the downscale energy conversion from mean and ISO to SSEs is related to the strength of the SSEs. During the ISO westerly phase, a stronger SSE extracts more kinetic energy from mean and ISO circulation. This positive feedback between SSE-mean and SSE-ISO interactions causes further strengthening of SSEs during the ISO westerly phase. By contrast, upscale energy conversion from SSEs to ISO anticyclonic flow (CKS-ISO < 0) was observed during the ISO easterly phase. The weaker SSE activity during the ISO easterly phase occurred because the mean circulation provides less energy to SSEs and, at the same time, SSEs lose energy to ISO during the ISO easterly phase. The two-way interaction between the ISO and SSEs has considerable effects on the development of tropical SSEs over the WNP in autumn.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3750-3766
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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