J. R. Ziemke and J. L. Stanford, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011

Geophys. Res. Letts., 21, 105-108 (1994).


Tropical Kelvin waves have been observed previously in ozone mixing ratio data from the SBUV (Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet) and LIMS (Limb Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere) instruments on board the Nimbus-7 satellite. The present study investigates Kelvin wave features in total column ozone, using version 6 data from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instrument (also on Nimbus-7). Results show eastward-propagating zonal waves 1-2 with periods approximately 5-15 days, amplitudes approximately 3-5 Dobson Units (1-2% of the time mean), and latitudinal symmetry typical of Kelvin waves. The analyses and a linear model in this study suggest that the primary source of the perturbations is slow Kelvin waves in the lower-to-middle stratosphere. Maximum Kelvin wave signatures occur in conjunction with westward lower-to-middle stratospheric equatorial zonal winds [a quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) wind modulation effect]. The significance of these results is that the TOMS data are shown to be useful for investigations with global coverage of a major component of tropical stratospheric dynamics, Kelvin waves. The TOMS data set with its excellent coverage and high quality should be useful in validating model studies in the relatively data sparse and dynamically difficult tropical region.