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Keywords:

  • upper troposphere/lower stratosphere;
  • tropical tropopause layer;
  • ozonesondes

[1] During the TC4 (Tropical Composition, Clouds, and Climate Coupling) campaign in July–August 2007, daily ozonesondes were launched over coastal Las Tablas, Panamá (7.8°N, 80°W) and several times per week at Alajuela, Costa Rica (10°N, 84°W). Wave activity, detected most prominently in 100–300 m thick ozone laminae in the tropical tropopause layer, occurred in 50% (Las Tablas) and 40% (Alajuela) of the soundings. These layers, associated with vertical displacements and classified as gravity waves (GW, possibly Kelvin waves) by laminar identification, occur with similar structure and frequency over the Paramaribo (5.8°N, 55°W) and San Cristóbal (0.92°S, 90°W) Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesondes (SHADOZ) sites. GW-labeled laminae in individual soundings correspond to cloud outflow as indicated by DC-8 tracers and other aircraft data, confirming convective initiation of equatorial waves. Layers representing quasi-horizontal displacements, referred to as Rossby waves by the laminar technique, are robust features in soundings from 23 July to 5 August. The features associated with Rossby waves correspond to extratropical influence, possibly stratospheric, and sometimes to pollution transport. Comparison of Las Tablas and Alajuela ozone budgets with 1999–2007 Paramaribo and San Cristóbal soundings shows that TC4 is typical of climatology for the equatorial Americas. Overall during TC4, convection and associated waves appear to dominate ozone transport in the tropical tropopause layer; intrusions from the extratropics occur throughout the free troposphere.