Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics

, Volume 64, Issue 3, pp 203-213

First online:

Summer circulation patterns related to the upper tropospheric vortices over the Tropical South Atlantic

  • M. T. KayanoAffiliated withInstituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais
  • , N. J. FerreiraAffiliated withInstituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais
  • , M. C. V. RamírezAffiliated withInstituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Daily 200-hPa relative vorticity data have been used to study the dominant patterns related to the cyclonic vortices over the South Atlantic Ocean in the vicinities of northeast Brazil, during the 1980–1989 period. Reference modes were obtained through empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis of the 200-hPa filtered vorticity anomalies over northeast Brazil, considering all the southern hemisphere (SH) summers within the study period. The amplitude time series of the first reference mode, separately for each SH summer, was correlated with the corresponding filtered vorticity anomalies in a larger area extending from 20°N to 40°S and between 120°W and 20°W. The correlation patterns feature a wave-like structure along eastern South America, with three main centers: the first one, over the South Atlantic off the northeast Brazil coast, is associated with the cyclonic vortices; the second one, over eastern Brazil, represents the corresponding anomalously amplified ridges; and the third one, over southern Brazil/Uruguay, is related to the equatorward incursions of midlatitude upper level troughs. This wave-like pattern is consistent with the vortex formation mechanism suggested in previous works. Another wave-like pattern southwest-northeast oriented is evident over the tropical southeastern Pacific, for some years. The internannual variability of these patterns is discussed in this paper.