Alex Gonzalez

(Iowa State University)

Weather in the east Pacific ITCZ: The role of nonlinear dynamics in boreal spring submonthly ITCZ shifts.

When Sep 16, 2020
from 03:30 pm to 04:30 pm
Where To be held via Zoom, see below for links
Contact Name Anthony Didlake
Contact email
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Alex Gonzalez Iowa

Weather in the east Pacific ITCZ: The role of nonlinear dynamics in boreal spring submonthly ITCZ shifts.

This seminar was recorded and can be seen HERE

Abstract: The intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) is like a heartbeat to Earth’s climate system, serving as the Hadley circulation’s rising branch and producing some of the most intense rainfall. Textbook descriptions show that the ITCZ follows the Sun’s seasonal migration. However, such definitions are deficient for the east Pacific Ocean ITCZ, which is centered north of the equator except during boreal spring when a double ITCZ forms. For decades, climate models have been overproducing the double ITCZ such that the double ITCZ becomes the dominant ITCZ state half of the year, or for some models, the secondary ITCZ dominates.

In this talk, I place focus on recently documented observed daily-weekly east Pacific ITCZ shifts to tackle the problem of climate model double ITCZ biases. During boreal spring, the climatological equatorial meridional surface winds dip down near zero in conjunction with the climatological double ITCZ during spring so that any significant meridional wind variability alters the interhemispheric transport of moisture, energy, momentum, and thus, ITCZ position. There are several distinct dynamical features that appear in the days leading up to the two leading types of ITCZ events, nITCZ (Northern Hemisphere) and dITCZ (double). Southerly and northerly equatorial flows intensify over a zonally wide east Pacific region preceding nITCZ and dITCZ events, respectively. A meridional momentum budget analysis reveals that both linear and nonlinear dynamics are important to the intensification of cross-equatorial flow associated with nITCZ and dITCZ events. Additionally, I show a potential role for extratropical teleconnections in both nITCZ and dITCZ events.

This talk is presented as a Zoom Webinar. For anyone outside the department; If you would like to attend, email

  • Topic: Alex Gonzalez Colloquium
  • Date: Sep 16, 2020
  • Time: 3:30-4:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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