Deep Convective Systems Observed by A-Train in the Tropical Indo-Pacific Region...

Yuan, J., and R. Houze (2013), Deep Convective Systems Observed by A-Train in the Tropical Indo-Pacific Region Affected by the MJO, J. Atmos. Sci., 70, 465-486, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-12-057.1.

In the Indo-Pacific region, mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) occur in a pattern consistent with the eastward propagation of the large-scale convective envelope of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). MCSs are major contributors to the total precipitation. Over the open ocean they tend to be merged or connected systems, while over the Maritime Continent area they tend to be separated or discrete. Over all regions affected by the MJO, connected systems increase in frequency during the active phase of the MJO. Characteristics of each type of MCS (separated or connected) do not vary much over MJO-affected regions. However, separated and connected MCSs differ in structure from each other. Connected MCSs have a larger size and produce less but colder-topped anvil cloud. For both connected and separated MCSs, larger systems tend to have colder cloud tops and less warmer-topped anvil cloud. The maximum height of MCS precipitating cores varies only slightly, and the variation is related to sea surface temperature. Enhanced large-scale convection, greater frequency of occurrence of connected MCSs, and increased midtroposphere moisture coincide, regardless of the region, season, or large-scale conditions (such as the concurrent phase of the MJO), suggesting that the coexistence of these phenomena is likely the nature of deep convection in this region. The increase of midtroposphere moisture observed in all convective regimes during large-scale convectively active phases suggests that the source of midtroposphere moisture is not local or instantaneous and that the accumulation of midtroposphere moisture over MJO-affected regions needs to be better understood.

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