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Antecedent Atmospheric Conditions Related to Squall-Line Initiation over the Northern Coast of Brazil in July

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  • 1 Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais, Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil
  • | 2 Instituto de Aeronáutica e Espaço, Divisão de Ciências Atmosféricas, São José dos Campos, Brazil
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Abstract

The antecedent atmospheric conditions at midmorning (1200 UTC or 0900 LST) related to subsequent squall-line (SL) initiation in the late afternoon or early evening over the northern coast of Brazil (NCB) were obtained for a specific month (July) when the SL initiation is independent of the strong synoptic forcing related to the intertropical convergence zone. The cases of SL and sparse deep convection in the late afternoon or early evening over the NCB were identified both objectively and subjectively, and grouped into either the SL category (SLC) or the no-convection category (NOC). For the central area of the NCB, the vertical profiles at midmorning for SLC and NOC, computed from radiosonde and ERA-Interim data spanning 9 years (2004–12), were compared. By focusing on the significant differences for both datasets, it was found that two midmorning conditions are favorable to SL initiation in July: a moister layer between 850 and 350 hPa, and a northeasterly flow at 350 hPa. These regional conditions are part of a larger-scale pattern: moister (drier) conditions over the whole NCB (southeastern South America) at 700 hPa and more intense anticyclonic circulation over the Atlantic Ocean close to northeastern Brazil at 350 hPa. The paper’s findings have the potential to aid weather forecasting activities, such as those focused on the prediction of SL-related precipitation 6–12 h ahead.

Corresponding author address: Marcos Oyama, Praça Marechal Eduardo Gomes, 50, Vila das Acácias, 12228-904 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil. E-mail: marcos.oyama@ymail.com

Abstract

The antecedent atmospheric conditions at midmorning (1200 UTC or 0900 LST) related to subsequent squall-line (SL) initiation in the late afternoon or early evening over the northern coast of Brazil (NCB) were obtained for a specific month (July) when the SL initiation is independent of the strong synoptic forcing related to the intertropical convergence zone. The cases of SL and sparse deep convection in the late afternoon or early evening over the NCB were identified both objectively and subjectively, and grouped into either the SL category (SLC) or the no-convection category (NOC). For the central area of the NCB, the vertical profiles at midmorning for SLC and NOC, computed from radiosonde and ERA-Interim data spanning 9 years (2004–12), were compared. By focusing on the significant differences for both datasets, it was found that two midmorning conditions are favorable to SL initiation in July: a moister layer between 850 and 350 hPa, and a northeasterly flow at 350 hPa. These regional conditions are part of a larger-scale pattern: moister (drier) conditions over the whole NCB (southeastern South America) at 700 hPa and more intense anticyclonic circulation over the Atlantic Ocean close to northeastern Brazil at 350 hPa. The paper’s findings have the potential to aid weather forecasting activities, such as those focused on the prediction of SL-related precipitation 6–12 h ahead.

Corresponding author address: Marcos Oyama, Praça Marechal Eduardo Gomes, 50, Vila das Acácias, 12228-904 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil. E-mail: marcos.oyama@ymail.com
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