Thermodynamics in the Suppressed Phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation Using a Multiplatform Strategy

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 9:30 AM
Jason B Roberts1, Franklin R Robertson1, Carol Anne Clayson2 and Patrick C Taylor3, (1)NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States, (2)Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Physical Oceanography, Woods Hole, MA, United States, (3)NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States
The Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) represents a prominent mode of intraseasonal tropical variability. It is manifest by coherent large-scale changes in atmospheric circulation, convection, and thermodynamic processes. Preconditioning of the environment prior to the active phase of the MJO has been noted, but the balance of theorized mechanisms to accomplish this process remains unresolved. Further, there is a lack of consensus on the means by which primary initiation of an MJO event occurs. Observational and modeling efforts have recently been undertaken to advance our understanding of the physical underpinnings governing MJO development. However these intensive studies are often limited in space and/or time and are potentially subject to model deficiencies. Satellite observations, especially those providing vertical resolution of temperature and moisture, provide an opportunity to expand our knowledge of processes critical to MJO initiation and preconditioning.

This work will provide an analysis of suppressed phase thermodynamics with an emphasis on the use of a complementary suite of satellite observations including AIRS/AMSU-A profiles, CERES radiative fluxes, and cloud properties observed by MODIS. Emphasis of this work will regard the distribution of cloud regimes, their radiative-convective effects, and their relationship to moist static energy during the recharge and suppressed stages of MJO initiation and eastward propagation. The analyses will make use of cloud regimes from MODIS observations to provide a compositing technique that enables the identification of systematic connections between different cloud regimes and the larger scale environment. Within these cloud regimes, the relationship between the associated cloud-radiative effects observed by CERES, vertically-resolved and vertically-integrated thermodynamics using AIRS/AMSU-A observations, and atmospheric boundary layer fluxes will be demonstrated.