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Environmental Conditions Associated with Amazonian Squall Lines: A Case Study

Júlia C. P. CohenDepartment of Meteorology, Federal University of Pará, Belém, Brazil

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Maria A. F. Silva DiasDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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Carlos A. NobreCenter for Weather Forecasting and Climate Studies, National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos, Brazil

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Abstract

The environmental conditions associated with squall lines (SL) that were observed during the period of 13 April–13 May 1987 (GTE/ABLE-2B) originating at the northern coast of South America and propagating over the Amazon Basin are documented. The SL observed on 5–7 May are examined in more detail. The SL days had in common a stronger and deeper low-level jet when compared with the days without SL. Two possible explanations are found for the intensification of the low-level jet: propagating easterly waves in the tropical Atlantic, which eventually reach Manaus, and localized heat sources in the western Amazon. Both were observed on 5–6 May. It is suggested that numerical simulations should be performed to unravel the relative importance of each large-scale mechanism.

Abstract

The environmental conditions associated with squall lines (SL) that were observed during the period of 13 April–13 May 1987 (GTE/ABLE-2B) originating at the northern coast of South America and propagating over the Amazon Basin are documented. The SL observed on 5–7 May are examined in more detail. The SL days had in common a stronger and deeper low-level jet when compared with the days without SL. Two possible explanations are found for the intensification of the low-level jet: propagating easterly waves in the tropical Atlantic, which eventually reach Manaus, and localized heat sources in the western Amazon. Both were observed on 5–6 May. It is suggested that numerical simulations should be performed to unravel the relative importance of each large-scale mechanism.

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