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Equatorial upper-ocean dynamics and their interaction with the West African monsoon

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Abstract

Zonal wind anomalies in the western equatorial Atlantic during late boreal winter to early summer precondition boreal summer cold/warm events in the eastern equatorial Atlantic (EEA) that manifest in a strong interannual Atlantic cold tongue (ACT) variability. Local intraseasonal wind fluctuations, linked to the St. Helena anticyclone, contribute to the variability of cold tongue onset and strength, particularly during years with preconditioned shallow thermoclines. The impact of cold tongue sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies on the wind field in the Gulf of Guinea is assessed. It contributes to the northward migration of humidity and convection and possibly the West African monsoon (WAM) jump. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society

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