Sounding-Based Thermodynamic Budgets from Dynamo/Cindy/Amie

Friday, 19 December 2014
Richard H Johnson1, Paul E Ciesielski1, James H Ruppert2 and Masaki Katsumata3, (1)Colorado State Univ, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (2)Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States, (3)JAMSTEC, Yokosuka, Japan
The DYNAMO/CINDY/AMIE field campaign, conducted over the Indian Ocean from October 2011 to March 2012, was designed to study the initiation of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO). Two prominent MJOs occurred in the experimental domain during the Special Observing Period in October and November. Data from a northern and a southern sounding array (NSA and SSA, respectively) have been used to investigate the apparent heat sources and sinks (Q1 and Q2) and radiative heating rates QR throughout the life cycles of the two MJO events. The MJO signal was far stronger in the NSA than the SSA, so attention is focused on results for the NSA.

Time series of Q1, Q2, and the vertical eddy flux of moist static energy reveal an evolution of cloud systems for both MJOs consistent with prior studies: shallow, non-precipitating cumulus during the suppressed phase, followed by cumulus congestus, then deep convection during the active phase, and finally stratiform precipitation. However, the duration of these phases was shorter for the November MJO than for the October event. The profiles of Q1 and Q2 for the two arrays indicate a greater stratiform rain fraction for the NSA than the SSA, a finding supported by TRMM measurements.

Surface rainfall rates and column-integrated QR determined as residuals from the budgets show good agreement with satellite-based estimates. The column-integrated QR anomaly was nearly 20% of the net-tropospheric convective heating anomaly for the October MJO, approaching the proposed condition for radiative-convective instability. The ratio was far less for the November event, further emphasizing important distinctions between the two MJOs.