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While it is well known that most of the Atlantic tropical cyclones develop in association with African easterly waves (AEWs), there are still big gaps in our knowledge and understanding of the processes associated with this. Related to this, we still are unable to distinguish with confidence the AEWs that will be associated with tropical cyclogenesis and those that will not. Recent work by the PI has highlighted one particular aspect of the AEW life-cycle over West Africa that has important relevance for this problem. Just before reaching the ocean AEWs are often associated with significant bursts of convection in the region of the Guinea Highlands, one of the wettest regions on the African continent. These bursts of convection result in significant production of potential vorticity (PV). The hypothesis that will be investigated in this project is that PV-mergers in the vicinity of the Guinea Highlands and just downstream can provide ideal “seedlings” for the genesis of tropical cyclones in the East Atlantic. The project will combine analysis of NAMMA observations, satellite products and high resolution modeling to explore the processes associated with the passage of AEWS over the Guinea Highlands and the extent to which they produce favorable or unfavorable seedlings for tropical cyclogenesis. As well as providing new insight into the role of AEWs on tropical cyclogenesis the results from this work will guide future field campaigns in this region.

Project PI: Christopher Thorncroft/University at Albany, SUNY

University at Albany, State University of New York 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12222

Phone:(518)442-4555

Fax:(518)442-5825

Email: chris@atmos.albany.edu

http://www.atmos.albany.edu/index.php?d=faculty_view&facultyLink;=thorncroft

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Started: Aug 10, 2010

Last Activity: Dec 15, 2010

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