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Title: Reexamining the MJO Moisture Mode Theories with Normalized Phase Evolutions
Abstract A normalization method is applied to MJO-scale precipitation and column integrated moist static energy (MSE) anomalies to clearly illustrate the phase evolution of MJO. It is found that the MJO peak phases do not move smoothly, rather they jump from the original convective region to a new location to its east. Such a discontinuous phase evolution is related to the emerging and developing of new congestus convection to the east of the preexisting deep convection. While the characteristic length scale of the phase jump depends on a Kelvin wave response, the associated time scale represents the establishment of an unstable stratification in the front due to boundary layer moistening. The combined effect of the aforementioned characteristic length and time scales determines the observed slow eastward phase speed. Such a phase evolution characteristic seems to support the moisture mode theory of the second type that emphasizes the boundary layer moisture asymmetry, because the moisture mode theory of the first type, which emphasizes the moisture or MSE tendency asymmetry, might favor more “smooth” phase propagation. A longitudinal-location-dependent premoistening mechanism is found based on moisture budget analysis. For the MJO in the eastern Indian Ocean, the premoistening in front of the MJO more » convection arises from vertical advection, whereas for the MJO over the western Pacific Ocean, it is attributed to the surface evaporating process. « less
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Climate
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
8523 to 8536
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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