Favorable monsoon environment over Eastern Africa for subsequent tropical cyclogenesis of African Easterly Waves

Kelly M.Núñez Ocasio, Alan Brammer, Jenni L. Evans, George S. Young, Zachary L. Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Eastern Africa is a common region ofAfrican easterly wave (AEW) onset andAEWearly life.How the largescale environment over East Africa relates to the likelihood of an AEW subsequently undergoing tropical cyclogenesis in a climatology has not been documented. This study addresses the following hypothesis:AEWs that undergo tropical cyclogenesis (i.e., developingAEWs) initiate and propagate under a more favorable monsoon large-scale environment over easternAfrica when compared with nondeveloping AEWs. Using a 21-yr August-September (1990-2010) climatology of AEWs, differences in the large-scale environment between developers and nondevelopers are identified and are proposed to be used as key predictors of subsequent tropical cyclone (TC) formation and could inform tropical cyclogenesis prediction. TC precursors when compared with nondevelopingAEWs experience an anomalously activeWestAfricanmonsoon, stronger northerly flow, more intense zonal Somali jet, anomalous convergence over the Marrah Mountains (region of AEW forcing), and a more intense and elongated African easterly jet. These large-scale conditions are linked to near-trough attributes of developing AEWs that favor more moisture ingestion, vertically aligned circulation, a stronger initial 850-hPa vortex, a deeper wave pouch, and arguably more AEW and mesoscale convective systems interactions. AEWs that initiate over eastern Africa and cross the west coast ofAfrica aremore likely to undergo tropical cyclogenesis than those initiating over central orWestAfrica. Developing AEWs are more likely than nondeveloping AEWs to be southern-track AEWs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2911-2925
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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