[1] A regional coupled ocean-atmospheric model is used to investigate the effect of oceanic mesoscale features on the mean climate of the tropical Atlantic. It is shown that, compared to a non-eddy resolving ocean model, resolving oceanic mesoscale variability leads to a cooler mean equatorial cold tongue and a cooler coastal upwelling zone. This changes the meridional SST gradient, and the resulting weaker low-level convergence reduces the mean of rainfall in the marine Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The reduced rainfall and the cooler coastal upwelling regions represent a clear improvement of the model solution.