Environmental Controls on the Tropical Island Diurnal Cycle in the Context of Intraseasonal Variability

Michael B. Natoli aColorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Eric D. Maloney aColorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Abstract

The mechanisms regulating the relationship between the tropical island diurnal cycle and large-scale modes of tropical variability such as the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) are explored in observations and an idealized model. Specifically, the local environmental conditions associated with diurnal cycle variability are explored. Using Luzon Island in the northern Philippines as an observational test case, a novel probabilistic framework is applied to improve the understanding of diurnal cycle variability. High-amplitude diurnal cycle days tend to occur with weak to moderate offshore low-level wind and near to above average column moisture in the local environment. The transition from the BSISO suppressed phase to the active phase is most likely to produce the wind and moisture conditions supportive of a substantial diurnal cycle over western Luzon and the South China Sea (SCS). Thus, the impact of the BSISO on the local diurnal cycle can be understood in terms of the change in the probability of favorable environmental conditions. Idealized high-resolution 3D Cloud Model 1 (CM1) simulations driven by base states derived from BSISO composite profiles are able to reproduce several important features of the observed diurnal cycle variability with BSISO phase, including the strong, land-based diurnal cycle and offshore propagation in the transition phases. Background wind appears to be the primary variable controlling the diurnal cycle response, but ambient moisture distinctly reduces precipitation strength in the suppressed BSISO phase and enhances it in the active phase.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

This article is included in the Air-Sea Interactions from the Diurnal to the Intraseasonal during the PISTON, MISOBOB, and CAMP2Ex Observational Campaigns in the Tropics Special Collection.

Corresponding author: Michael B. Natoli, mbnatoli@colostate.edu

Abstract

The mechanisms regulating the relationship between the tropical island diurnal cycle and large-scale modes of tropical variability such as the boreal summer intraseasonal oscillation (BSISO) are explored in observations and an idealized model. Specifically, the local environmental conditions associated with diurnal cycle variability are explored. Using Luzon Island in the northern Philippines as an observational test case, a novel probabilistic framework is applied to improve the understanding of diurnal cycle variability. High-amplitude diurnal cycle days tend to occur with weak to moderate offshore low-level wind and near to above average column moisture in the local environment. The transition from the BSISO suppressed phase to the active phase is most likely to produce the wind and moisture conditions supportive of a substantial diurnal cycle over western Luzon and the South China Sea (SCS). Thus, the impact of the BSISO on the local diurnal cycle can be understood in terms of the change in the probability of favorable environmental conditions. Idealized high-resolution 3D Cloud Model 1 (CM1) simulations driven by base states derived from BSISO composite profiles are able to reproduce several important features of the observed diurnal cycle variability with BSISO phase, including the strong, land-based diurnal cycle and offshore propagation in the transition phases. Background wind appears to be the primary variable controlling the diurnal cycle response, but ambient moisture distinctly reduces precipitation strength in the suppressed BSISO phase and enhances it in the active phase.

© 2023 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

This article is included in the Air-Sea Interactions from the Diurnal to the Intraseasonal during the PISTON, MISOBOB, and CAMP2Ex Observational Campaigns in the Tropics Special Collection.

Corresponding author: Michael B. Natoli, mbnatoli@colostate.edu

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