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Title: Deep Convective Organization, Moisture Vertical Structure, and Convective Transition Using Deep-Inflow Mixing

It is an open question whether an integrated measure of buoyancy can yield a strong relation to precipitation across tropical land and ocean, across the seasonal and diurnal cycles, and for varying degrees of convective organization. Building on previous work, entraining plume buoyancy calculations reveal that differences in convective onset as a function of column water vapor (CWV) over land and ocean, as well as seasonally and diurnally over land, are largely due to variability in the contribution of lower-tropospheric humidity to the total column moisture. Over land, the relationship between deep convection and lower-free-tropospheric moisture is robust across all seasons and times of day, whereas the relation to boundary layer moisture is robust for the daytime only. Using S-band radar, these transition statistics are examined separately for mesoscale and smaller-scale convection. The probability of observing mesoscale convective systems sharply increases as a function of lower-free-tropospheric humidity. The consistency of this with buoyancy-based parameterization is examined for several mixing formulations. Mixing corresponding to deep inflow of environmental air into a plume that grows with height, which incorporates nearly equal weighting of boundary layer and free-tropospheric air, yields buoyancies consistent with the observed onset of deep convection across the seasonal and more » diurnal cycles in the Amazon. Furthermore, it provides relationships that are as strong or stronger for mesoscale-organized convection as for smaller-scale convection.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 965-987
American Meteorological Society
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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