3 years ago

The Meandering Margin of the Meteorological Moist Tropics

Brian E. Mapes, Hirohiko Masunaga, Walter M. Hannah, Christopher S. Velden, Anthony J. Wimmers, Eui Seok Chung
Bimodally distributed column water vapor (CWV) indicates a well-defined moist regime in the Tropics, above a margin value near 48 kg m−2 in current climate (about 80% of column saturation). Maps reveal this margin as a meandering, sinuous synoptic contour bounding broad plateaus of the moist regime. Within these plateaus, convective storms of distinctly smaller convective and mesoscales occur sporadically. Satellite data composites across the poleward most margin reveal its sharpness, despite the crude averaging: precipitation doubles within 100 km, marked by both enhancement and deepening of cloudiness. Transported patches and filaments of the moist regime cause consequential precipitation events within and beyond the Tropics. Distinguishing synoptic flows that cross the margin from flows that move the margin is made possible by a novel satellite-based Lagrangian CWV tendency estimate. Climate models do not reliably reproduce the observed bimodal distribution, so studying the moist mode's maintenance processes and the margin-zone air mass transformations, guided by the Lagrangian tendency product, might importantly constrain model moist process treatments.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/2017GL076440

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.