Temperature, relative humidity, and divergence response to high rainfall events in the tropics: Observations and models
von Salzen, Knut
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Radiosonde measurements and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 3B42 rainfall are used to construct composite anomaly patterns of temperature, relative humidity, and divergence about high rainfall events in the western Pacific. The observed anomaly patterns are compared with anomaly patterns from four general circulation models Third and Fourth Generation Atmospheric General Circulation Model (AGCM3 and AGCM4), Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory Climate Model version 2.1 (GFDL CM2.1), and European Center Hamburg Model version 5 (ECHAM5)] and two reanalysis products 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) and ERA-Interim]. In general, the models and reanalyses do not fully represent the timing, strength, or altitude of the midlevel congestus divergence that precedes peak rainfall or the midlevel stratiform convergence that occurs after peak rainfall. The surface cold pools that develop in response to high rainfall events are also either not present or somewhat weaker than observations. Surface cold pools originate from the downward transport within mesoscale downdrafts of midtropospheric air with low moist static energy into the boundary layer. Differences between the modeled and observed response to high rainfall events suggest that the convective parameterizations used by the models and reanalyses discussed here may under-represent the strength of the mesoscale downdraft circulation. 2010 American Meteorological Society.
Mitovski, Toni, Ian Folkins, Knut von Salzen, and Michael Sigmond. 2010. "Temperature, relative humidity, and divergence response to high rainfall events in the tropics: Observations and models." Journal of Climate 23(13): 3613-3625.