Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (xv, 104 pages) : illustrations, maps.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Paul Roundy

Committee Members

George kiladis, Liming Zhou, CHRISTOPHER THORNCROFT


baroclinic modes, critical layer, gravity waves, Kelvin waves, MJO, moisture mode, Madden-Julian oscillation, Ocean-atmosphere interaction, Gravity waves, Tropospheric circulation, Tropospheric radio wave propagation, Baroclinicity, Vertical wind shear

Subject Categories

Atmospheric Sciences


Kelvin waves in the stratosphere are well known to behave as radiative gravity waves. Yet, the tropospheric component of these Kelvin waves (and other tropical modes) has often been described as superpositions between the baroclinic modes. By decomposing the Kelvin waves into upward and downward-phase components, we found that only upward-phase Kelvin waves occupy the troposphere, indicating that the tropospheric Kelvin waves are not vertical standing oscillations as previously thought. Fast Kelvin waves were found to obey the structure of radiating gravity waves, like their stratospheric counterpart, more than the moist waves. The unexpected lack of variation in vertical tilt of tropospheric Kelvin waves suggest than fast tropospheric waves exist in high static stability environments when compared to slow waves. Limitations of the radiative view of the Kelvin waves are discussed.