Tropical Weather

  • Tropics - region between 23.5 N and S of the equator
  • amount of solar radiation does not vary much from season to season, but is relatively intense
  • winds:
    • are generally NE, E, or SE (easterly trades)
    • tend to be quite weak as well..... why?
    • wind flow is best visualized with streamlines instead of sea-level pressure
  • types of weather systems found in tropics:
    • thunderstorms
    • tropical squall lines/clusters
    • non-squall clusters
    • tropical depressions/storms, and hurricanes
  • baroclinic processes do not occur in the tropics..... why??

QUESTION FOR THOUGHT:

What if the average number of hurricanes tripled.  How would the heat and moisture transport by hurricanes change the global circulation, if at all?