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Xiaohui Chang
University of Chicago
Joint work with Alicia Karspeck and Stephan Sain, NCAR

September 25, 2009
Mesa Laboratory - Chapman Room
Lecture 10:00am

Analyzing Tropical Instability Waves from a Statistical Point of View

Tropical Instability Waves (TIW) are the perturbations of both currents and temperature in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Many high resolution satellite data collected over the last decade clearly indicates the existence and movement pattern of the waves and is often used to make empirical / visual descriptions of the wave characteristics.
In contrary to the previous literature, we offer a more advanced statistical method to estimate the phase speed and amplitude evolution of these waves. We will describe our Bayesian hierarchical model on the wave process and discuss how the satellite data is used to capture the dynamic movement of the waves. Some preliminary results from an analysis of the 1998/1999 TIW-season will be also be presented. Since we are in the early stages of this project, any comments and suggestions from oceanographers and statisticians are welcome.