Tropical Continental Convection (Amazonia and the North American Monsoon): Unique Observations from GPS Meteorological Networks

Wednesday, 16 December 2015: 17:30
3006 (Moscone West)
David K Adams, UNAM National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
The complex interactions/feedbacks between water vapor fields and deep atmospheric convection remain one of the outstanding problems in Tropical Meteorology. The lack of high spatial/temporal resolution, all-weather observations in the Tropics has hampered progress. In this talk, we present results employing GPS meteorology from two topographically/climatologically unique Tropical Continental regimes: Central Amazonia and the Sierra Madre Occidental of Mexico. Specifically, we presents results on the shallow-to-deep convective transition from both regimes in addition to employing water vapor convergence as a proxy variable for convective intensity. Results from both convective regimes reveal an approximately 4-hour timescale of intense water vapor convergence associated with the transition from shallow to deep precipitating convection. This water vapor convergence time scale provides a useful metric for both high resolution and global climate models to replicate. Furthermore, we examime convective intensity from both regimes (defined utilizing lightning data, cloud top temperature or precipitation), which is also characterized by the time-rate-of-change of precipitable water vapor. The relationship between the time-rate-of-change of precipitable water vapor and convective intensity is positive, however, with a large amount spread in the data and some dependence on the regime and topography.