Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Lin, Yuh-Lang

Abstract

North African climate is analyzed between 1979 and 2010 with an emphasis on August using the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF) global dataset to investigate the effects of the subtropical anticyclones over North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula on the Africa easterly jet (AEJ). It was found that the AEJ encloses a core with a local wind maximum (LWM) in both West and East Africa, in which the west LWM core has a higher zonal wind speed. The strength of both cores is distinctly different by way of thermal wind balance. The variability of these synoptic weather features is higher in East Africa. The most noticeable variability of intensity occurred with easterly waves. Maintenance of easterly waves from the Arabian Peninsula into East Africa is dependent on strong zonal gradients from the AEJ. These zonal gradients were induced by the strengthening of the subtropical highs and the presence of a westerly jet in Central Africa and south of the Arabian Peninsula. During positive ENSO periods, these systems are generally weaker while in negative periods are stronger. The origins of an intense African easterly wave (AEW) and mesoscale convective system (MCS) in August 2004 (A04) were traced back to the southern Arabian Peninsula, Asir Mountains, and Ethiopian Highlands using gridded satellite (GridSat) data, ERA-I, and the WRF-ARW model. A vorticity budget was developed to investigate the dynamics and mechanisms that contribute to the formation of A04’s vorticity perturbation.

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