Characterizing tropical overshooting deep convection from joint analysis of...

Takahashi, H., and Z. J. Luo (2014), Characterizing tropical overshooting deep convection from joint analysis of CloudSat and geostationary satellite observations, J. Geophys. Res., 119, 112-121, doi:10.1002/2013JD020972.

Tropical overshooting deep convection (ODC) plays an important role in affecting the heat and constituent budgets of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. This study investigates the properties and behaviors of such intense deep convection using a combination of CloudSat observations and geostationary satellite data. Our study approaches the subject from two unique perspectives: first, W-band cloud profiling radar (CPR) observations from CloudSat are used, which add to our knowledge of the internal vertical structure of tropical ODC; second, each snapshot observation from CloudSat is cast into the time evolution of the convective systems through joint analysis of geostationary satellite data, which provides a lifecycle view of tropical ODC. Climatology of tropical ODC based on CloudSat data is first presented and compared with previous works. Various parameters from CloudSat observations pertaining to cloud vertical extent, convective intensity, and convective environment are analyzed. Although results broadly agree with previous studies, we show that CloudSat CPR is capable of capturing both small cloud particles and large precipitation-size particles, thus presenting a more complete depiction of the internal vertical structure of tropical ODC. Geostationary satellite observations are analyzed in conjunction with CloudSat data to identify the life stage of the convective systems (CSs) in which ODC is embedded. ODC associated with the growing, mature, and dissipating stage of the CSs represents, respectively, 66.2%, 33.4%, and 0.4% of the total population. Convective intensity of the ODC is found to be stronger during the growing stage than the mature stage.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)