On the structure of the Southern Oscillation

Chao Yi Chao, S. G.H. Philander

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60 Scopus citations


A realistic oceanic general circulation model is forced with winds observed over the tropical Pacific between 1967 and 1979. The structure of the simulated Southern Oscillation is strikingly different in the western and eastern sides of the basin, because the principal interannual zonal-wind fluctuations are confined to the west and are in the form of an equatorial jet. This causes thermocline displacements to have maxima off the equator in the west (where the curl of the wind is large) but on the equator in the east. Zonal phase propagation, both on and off the equator, is at different speeds in the west and east. The phase pattern is complex, and there is, on interannual time scale, no explicit evidence of individual equatorial waves. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-469
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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