TRMM Based Studies of MJO Convection over the Central Indian Ocean, Maritime Continent, and Western Pacific Warm Pool

Monday, 15 December 2014
Steven A Rutledge and Weixin Xu, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States
The structure and organization of precipitating cloud populations related to the initiation and evolution of several MJO events have been fully investigated using data collected from the 2011-2012 DYNAMO field campaign over the Central Indian Ocean (CIO). Since DYNMO monitored the MJO behavior for only a few months, it is important to know how the DYNAMO-recorded characteristics compare to the long-term climatology, such as viewed by TRMM satellite measurements. TRMM observations are also capable of providing the regional variability of the convection as the MJO envelope propagates eastward. The objective of this study is to quantify MJO convective characteristics using 15 years of TRMM satellite measurements over three specific regions affected by the MJO including the CIO, Maritime Continent (MC), and Western Pacific (WP). TRMM data are used to quantify not only the precipitating cloud population categorized by radar echo tops and feature size (as have been previously documented), but also their convective intensity, lightning activity, precipitation structures, bulk microphysical properties, and rainfall contributions. Specifically, the radar, ice scattering (microwave), and lightning observations from TRMM are analyzed for the convective spectrum as a function of MJO stage and geographical location. Furthermore, radar characteristics of MJO events based on TRMM PR are quantitatively compared to that of the shipborne radars deployed during TOGA COARE over the WP and DYNAMO over the CIO.