Tropical intraseasonal modes of the atmosphere

Yolande L. Serra, Xianan Jiang, Baijun Tian, Jorge Amador-Astua, Eric D. Maloney, George N. Kiladis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Tropical intraseasonal variability (TISV) of the atmosphere describes the coherent variability in basic state variables, including pressure, wind, temperature, and humidity, as well as in the physical phenomena associated with the covariability of these parameters, such as rainfall and cloudiness, over synoptic (∼1,000 km, ∼1-10 days) to planetary (∼10,000 km, ∼10-100 days) scales. In the past, the characteristics of individual TISV modes were studied separately, and much has been learned from this approach. More recent studies have increasingly focused on the multiscale nature of these modes, leading to exciting new developments in our understanding of tropical meteorology. This article reviews the most recent observations of TISV and its associated impacts on regional weather, short-term climate patterns, and atmospheric chemical transports, as well as the ability of numerical models to capture these interacting modes of variability. We also suggest where the field might focus its efforts in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-215
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Atmospheric transport
  • Convective organization
  • Convectively coupled equatorial waves
  • Madden-Julian oscillation
  • Multiscale variability
  • Tropical convection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science


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