Shallow meridional circulation in the tropical eastern Pacific

Chidong Zhang, Michael McGauley, Nicholas A. Bond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Based on four independent datasets, this study presents observational evidence of a shallow meridional circulation cell in the eastern tropical Pacific. In this shallow meridional circulation cell the northerly cross-equatorial return flow from the ITCZ into the Southern Hemisphere is found immediately above the atmospheric boundary layer, in contrast to the classic concept of the Hadley-type deep meridional circulation whose northerly return flow resides in the upper troposphere. The strength and depth of this shallow meridional circulation undergo a distinct annual cycle. Possible causes and climatic implications of this shallow meridional circulation are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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