Propagating and standing components of the intraseasonal oscillation in tropical convection

Zhang Chidong Zhang, H. H. Hendon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


Two questions related to the intraseasonal variability of tropical convection and circulation remain controvesial. 1) two what degree is the convective component of the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) a standing oscillationg? 2) Is the eastward propagating circulation anomaly of the MJO coherent with a standing oscillation in convection? In an attempt to settle these issues, the authors demonstrate that no dominant standing oscillation in convection can be identified. Instead, intraseasonal variability of convection is dominated by an eastward propagating mode, which the authorws interpret that is coherent with the eastward propagating disturbance in the zonal wind, which is a traditional measure of the MJO. Analysis of synthetic time series illustrates that an impression of a standing oscillation in convection may come forth because of the modulation of the eastward propagating convective disturbance by an amplitude envelope with maxima in the eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans and a minimum over the maritime continents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-752
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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