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The “Year” of Tropical Convection (May 2008–April 2010): Climate Variability and Weather Highlights

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  • 1 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
  • | 2 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 3 THORPE X, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  • | 4 Institute of Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • | 5 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 6 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
  • | 7 Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, India
  • | 8 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
  • | 9 Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California
  • | 10 Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • | 11 National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • | 12 Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • | 13 University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York
  • | 14 Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • | 15 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
  • | 16 University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
  • | 17 Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • | 18 University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York
  • | 19 Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre, Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • | 20 University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
  • | 21 University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York
  • | 22 Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • | 23 University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • | 24 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
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The representation of tropical convection remains a serious challenge to the skillfulness of our weather and climate prediction systems. To address this challenge, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) are conducting a joint research activity consisting of a focus period approach along with an integrated research framework tailored to exploit the vast amounts of existing observations, expanding computational resources, and the development of new, high-resolution modeling frameworks. The objective of the Year of Tropical Convection (YOTC) is to use these constructs to advance the characterization, modeling, parameterization, and prediction of multiscale tropical convection, including relevant two-way interactions between tropical and extratropical systems. This article highlights the diverse array of scientifically interesting and socially important weather and climate events associated with the WCRP–WWRP/THORPEX YOTC period of interest: May 2008–April 2010. Notable during this 2-yr period was the change from cool to warm El Niño– Southern Oscillation (ENSO) states and the associated modulation of a wide range of smaller time- and space-scale tropical convection features. This period included a near-record-setting wet North American monsoon in 2008 and a very severe monsoon drought in India in 2009. There was also a plethora of tropical wave activity, including easterly waves, the Madden–Julian oscillation, and convectively coupled equatorial wave interactions. Numerous cases of high-impact rainfall events occurred along with notable features in the tropical cyclone record. The intent of this article is to highlight these features and phenomena, and in turn promote their interrogation via theory, observations, and models in concert with the YOTC program so that improved understanding and pre- dictions of tropical convection can be afforded.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Duane Waliser, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MS 183–505, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 E-mail: duane.waliser@jpl.nasa.gov

The representation of tropical convection remains a serious challenge to the skillfulness of our weather and climate prediction systems. To address this challenge, the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and The Observing System Research and Predictability Experiment (THORPEX) of the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) are conducting a joint research activity consisting of a focus period approach along with an integrated research framework tailored to exploit the vast amounts of existing observations, expanding computational resources, and the development of new, high-resolution modeling frameworks. The objective of the Year of Tropical Convection (YOTC) is to use these constructs to advance the characterization, modeling, parameterization, and prediction of multiscale tropical convection, including relevant two-way interactions between tropical and extratropical systems. This article highlights the diverse array of scientifically interesting and socially important weather and climate events associated with the WCRP–WWRP/THORPEX YOTC period of interest: May 2008–April 2010. Notable during this 2-yr period was the change from cool to warm El Niño– Southern Oscillation (ENSO) states and the associated modulation of a wide range of smaller time- and space-scale tropical convection features. This period included a near-record-setting wet North American monsoon in 2008 and a very severe monsoon drought in India in 2009. There was also a plethora of tropical wave activity, including easterly waves, the Madden–Julian oscillation, and convectively coupled equatorial wave interactions. Numerous cases of high-impact rainfall events occurred along with notable features in the tropical cyclone record. The intent of this article is to highlight these features and phenomena, and in turn promote their interrogation via theory, observations, and models in concert with the YOTC program so that improved understanding and pre- dictions of tropical convection can be afforded.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Duane Waliser, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MS 183–505, California Institute of Technology, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109 E-mail: duane.waliser@jpl.nasa.gov
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