Browse

You are looking at 21 - 30 of 31 items for :

  • DYNAMO/CINDY/AMIE/LASP: Processes, Dynamics, and Prediction of MJO Initiation x
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All
Weixin Xu, Steven A. Rutledge, Courtney Schumacher, and Masaki Katsumata

Abstract

This study investigates the evolution, structure, and spatial variability of Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) convection observed during the 2011/12 Dynamics of the MJO (DYNAMO) field campaign. Generally, the C-band radars located in the near-equatorial Indian Ocean—Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching Radar (SMART-R) on Addu Atoll (Gan) and NASA TOGA on the R/V Roger Revelle (Revelle)—observed similar trends in echo-top heights, stratiform rain fraction, and precipitation feature size across the MJO life cycle. These trends are closely related to changes in mid- to upper-tropospheric moisture, sea surface temperature (SST), zonal wind, and diagnosed vertical air motions. However, the evolution of convection, moisture, and vertical air motion at the R/V Mirai (Mirai), located in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) at 8°S, exhibited a pattern nearly opposite to Gan and Revelle. When the MJO was active over the equator, convection was suppressed around Mirai owing to induced subsidence by the strong upward motion to the north. SST and zonal winds near Mirai were nearly invariant across the MJO life cycle, indicating little influence from the MJO in these fields. Compared to Gan and Revelle, Mirai had a significant amount of precipitation that fell from shallow and isolated convection. There were subtle differences in the evolution and properties of the convection observed between Gan and Revelle. Deep convection occurred slightly earlier at Gan compared to Revelle, consistent with the west-to-east progression of the MJO in the central Indian Ocean. Furthermore, convective deepening was more gradual over Revelle compared to Gan, especially during the October MJO event.

Full access
Ji-Hyun Oh, Xianan Jiang, Duane E. Waliser, Mitchell W. Moncrieff, Richard H. Johnson, and Paul Ciesielski

Abstract

The Dynamics of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO) field campaign was conducted over the Indian Ocean (IO) from October 2011 to February 2012 to investigate the initiation of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). Three MJOs accompanying westerly wind events (WWEs) occurred in late October, late November, and late December 2011. Momentum budget analysis is conducted to understand the contributions of the dynamical processes involved in the wind evolution associated with the MJO over the IO during DYNAMO using European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts analysis. This analysis shows that westerly acceleration at lower levels associated with the MJO active phase generally appears to be maintained by the pressure gradient force (PGF), which could be partly canceled by meridional advection of the zonal wind. Westerly acceleration in the midtroposphere tends to be mostly attributable to vertical advection. The results herein imply that there is no simple linear dynamic model that can capture the WWEs associated with the MJO and that nonlinear processes have to be considered.

In addition, the MJO in November (MJO2), accompanied by two WWEs (WWE1 and WWE2) spaced a few days apart, is diagnosed. Unlike other WWEs during DYNAMO, horizontal advection is more responsible for the westerly acceleration in the lower troposphere for WWE2 than the PGF. Interactions between the MJO2 envelope and convectively coupled waves (CCWs) are analyzed to illuminate the dynamical contribution of these synoptic-scale equatorial waves to the WWEs. The authors suggest that different developing processes among WWEs can be attributed to different types of CCWs.

Full access
Sue Chen, Maria Flatau, Tommy G. Jensen, Toshiaki Shinoda, Jerome Schmidt, Paul May, James Cummings, Ming Liu, Paul E. Ciesielski, Christopher W. Fairall, Ren-Chieh Lien, Dariusz B. Baranowski, Nan-Hsun Chi, Simon de Szoeke, and James Edson

Abstract

The diurnal variability and the environmental conditions that support the moisture resurgence of MJO events observed during the Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability (CINDY)/DYNAMO campaign in October–December 2011 are investigated using in situ observations and the cloud-resolving fully air–ocean–wave Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System (COAMPS). Spectral density and wavelet analysis of the total precipitable water (TPW) constructed from the DYNAMO soundings and TRMM satellite precipitation reveal a deep layer of vapor resurgence during the observed Wheeler and Hendon real-time multivariate MJO index phases 5–8 (MJO suppressed phase), which include diurnal, quasi-2-, quasi-3–4-, quasi-6–8-, and quasi-16-day oscillations. A similar oscillatory pattern is found in the DYNAMO moorings sea surface temperature analysis, suggesting a tightly coupled atmosphere and ocean system during these periods. COAMPS hindcast focused on the 12–16 November 2011 event suggests that both the diurnal sea surface temperature (SST) pumping and horizontal and vertical moisture transport associated with the westward propagating mixed Rossby–Gravity (MRG) waves play an essential role in the moisture resurgence during this period. Idealized COAMPS simulations of MRG waves are used to estimate the MRG and diurnal SST contributions to the overall moisture increase. These idealized MRG sensitivity experiments showed the TPW increase varies from 9% to 13% with the largest changes occurring in the simulations that included a diurnal SST variation of 2.5°C as observed.

Full access
James H. Ruppert Jr. and Richard H. Johnson

Abstract

Atmospheric soundings, radar, and air–sea flux measurements collected during Dynamics of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO) are employed to study MJO convective onset (i.e., the transition from shallow to deep convection) in the tropical Indian Ocean. The findings indicate that moistening of the low–midtroposphere during the preonset stage of the MJO is achieved by simultaneous changes in the convective cloud population and large-scale circulation. Namely, cumuliform clouds deepen and grow in areal coverage as the drying by large-scale subsidence and horizontal (westerly) advection wane. The reduction of large-scale subsidence is tied to the reduction of column radiative cooling during the preonset stage, which ultimately links back to the evolving cloud population. While net column moistening in the preonset stage is tied to large-scale circulation changes, a new finding of this study is the high degree to which the locally driven diurnal cycle invigorates convective clouds and cumulus moistening each day. This diurnal cycle is manifest in a daytime growth of cumulus clouds (in both depth and areal coverage) in response to oceanic diurnal warm layers, which drive a daytime increase of the air–sea fluxes of heat and moisture. This diurnally modulated convective cloud field exhibits prominent mesoscale organization in the form of open cells and horizontal convective rolls. It is hypothesized that the diurnal cycle and mesoscale cloud organization characteristic of the preonset stage of the MJO represent two manners in which local processes promote more vigorous daily-mean column moistening than would otherwise occur.

Full access
Weixin Xu and Steven A. Rutledge

Abstract

This study uses Dynamics of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO) shipborne [Research Vessel (R/V) Roger Revelle] radar and Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Precipitation Radar (PR) datasets to investigate MJO-associated convective systems in specific organizational modes [mesoscale convective system (MCS) versus sub-MCS and linear versus nonlinear]. The Revelle radar sampled many “climatological” aspects of MJO convection as indicated by comparison with the long-term TRMM PR statistics, including areal-mean rainfall (6–7 mm day−1), convective intensity, rainfall contributions from different morphologies, and their variations with MJO phase. Nonlinear sub-MCSs were present 70% of the time but contributed just around 20% of the total rainfall. In contrast, linear and nonlinear MCSs were present 10% of the time but contributed 20% and 50%, respectively. These distributions vary with MJO phase, with the largest sub-MCS rainfall fraction in suppressed phases (phases 5–7) and maximum MCS precipitation in active phases (phases 2 and 3). Similarly, convective–stratiform rainfall fractions also varied significantly with MJO phase, with the highest convective fractions (70%–80%) in suppressed phases and the largest stratiform fraction (40%–50%) in active phases. However, there are also discrepancies between the Revelle radar and TRMM PR. Revelle radar data indicated a mean convective rain fraction of 70% compared to 55% for TRMM PR. This difference is mainly due to the reduced resolution of the TRMM PR compared to the ship radar. There are also notable differences in the rainfall contributions as a function of convective intensity between the Revelle radar and TRMM PR. In addition, TRMM PR composites indicate linear MCS rainfall increases after MJO onset and produce similar rainfall contributions to nonlinear MCSs; however, the Revelle radar statistics show the clear dominance of nonlinear MCS rainfall.

Full access
H. Bellenger, K. Yoneyama, M. Katsumata, T. Nishizawa, K. Yasunaga, and R. Shirooka

Abstract

Tropospheric moisture is a key factor controlling the global climate and its variability. For instance, moistening of the lower troposphere is necessary to trigger the convective phase of a Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). However, the relative importance of the processes controlling this moistening has yet to be quantified. Among these processes, the importance of the moistening by shallow convection is still debated. The authors use high-frequency observations of humidity and convection from the Research Vessel (R/V) Mirai that was located in the Indian Ocean ITCZ during the Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability/Dynamics of the MJO (CINDY/DYNAMO) campaign. This study is an initial attempt to directly link shallow convection to moisture variations within the lowest 4 km of the atmosphere from the convective scale to the mesoscale. Within a few tens of minutes and near shallow convection occurrences, moisture anomalies of 0.25–0.5 g kg−1 that correspond to tendencies on the order of 10–20 g kg−1 day−1 between 1 and 4 km are observed and are attributed to shallow convective clouds. On the scale of a few hours, shallow convection is associated with anomalies of 0.5–1 g kg−1 that correspond to tendencies on the order of 1–4 g kg−1 day−1 according to two independent datasets: lidar and soundings. This can be interpreted as the resultant mesoscale effect of the population of shallow convective clouds. Large-scale advective tendencies can be stronger than the moistening by shallow convection; however, the latter is a steady moisture supply whose importance can increase with the time scale. This evaluation of the moistening tendency related to shallow convection is ultimately important to develop and constrain numerical models.

Full access
Richard H. Johnson, Paul E. Ciesielski, James H. Ruppert Jr., and Masaki Katsumata

Abstract

The Dynamics of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO) field campaign, conducted over the Indian Ocean from October 2011 to March 2012, was designed to study the initiation of the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). Two prominent MJOs occurred in the experimental domain during the special observing period in October and November. Data from a northern and a southern sounding array (NSA and SSA, respectively) have been used to investigate the apparent heat sources and sinks (Q 1 and Q 2) and radiative heating rates Q R throughout the life cycles of the two MJO events. The MJO signal was far stronger in the NSA than the SSA. Time series of Q 1, Q 2, and the vertical eddy flux of moist static energy reveal an evolution of cloud systems for both MJOs consistent with prior studies: shallow, nonprecipitating cumulus during the suppressed phase, followed by cumulus congestus, then deep convection during the active phase, and finally stratiform precipitation. However, the duration of these phases was shorter for the November MJO than for the October event. The profiles of Q 1 and Q 2 for the two arrays indicate a greater stratiform rain fraction for the NSA than the SSA—a finding supported by TRMM measurements. Surface rainfall rates and net tropospheric Q R determined as residuals from the budgets show good agreement with satellite-based estimates. The cloud radiative forcing was approximately 20% of the column-integrated convective heating and of the same amplitude as the normalized gross moist stability, leaving open the possibility of radiative–convective instability for the two MJOs.

Full access
Adam Sobel, Shuguang Wang, and Daehyun Kim

Abstract

The authors analyze the column-integrated moist static energy budget over the region of the tropical Indian Ocean covered by the sounding array during the Cooperative Indian Ocean Experiment on Intraseasonal Variability in the Year 2011 (CINDY2011)/Dynamics of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (DYNAMO) field experiment in late 2011. The analysis is performed using data from the sounding array complemented by additional observational datasets for surface turbulent fluxes and atmospheric radiative heating. The entire analysis is repeated using the ECMWF Interim Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim). The roles of surface turbulent fluxes, radiative heating, and advection are quantified for the two MJO events that occurred in October and November using the sounding data; a third event in December is also studied in the ERA-Interim data.

These results are consistent with the view that the MJO’s moist static energy anomalies grow and are sustained to a significant extent by the radiative feedbacks associated with MJO water vapor and cloud anomalies and that propagation of the MJO is associated with advection of moist static energy. Both horizontal and vertical advection appear to play significant roles in the events studied here. Horizontal advection strongly moistens the atmosphere during the buildup to the active phase of the October event when the low-level winds switch from westerly to easterly. Horizontal advection strongly dries the atmosphere in the wake of the active phases of the November and December events as the westerlies associated with off-equatorial cyclonic gyres bring subtropical dry air into the convective region from the west and north. Vertical advection provides relative moistening ahead of the active phase and drying behind it, associated with an increase of the normalized gross moist stability.

Full access
Wen-wen Tung, Dimitrios Giannakis, and Andrew J. Majda

Abstract

This work studies the significance of north–south asymmetry in convection associated with the 20–90-day Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) propagating across the equatorial Indo-Pacific warm pool region. Satellite infrared brightness temperature data in the tropical belt for the period 1983–2006 were decomposed into components symmetric and antisymmetric about the equator. Using a recent nonlinear objective method called nonlinear Laplacian spectral analysis, modes of variability were extracted representing symmetric and antisymmetric features of MJO convection signals, along with a plethora of other modes of tropical convective variability spanning diurnal to interannual time scales. The space–time reconstruction of these modes during the 1992/93 Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE) period is described in detail. In particular, the boreal winter MJO emerges as a single pair of modes in both symmetric and antisymmetric convection signals. Both signals originate in the Indian Ocean around 60°E. They coexist for all significant MJO events with a varying degree of relative importance, which is affected by ENSO. The symmetric signals tend to be suppressed when crossing the Maritime Continent, while the antisymmetric signals are not as inhibited. Their differences in peak phase and propagation speed suggest fundamental differences in the underlying mechanisms. The multiscale interactions between the diurnal, MJO, and ENSO modes of convection were studied. It was found that the symmetric component of MJO convection appears out of phase with the symmetric component of the diurnal cycle, while the antisymmetric component of MJO convection is in phase with the antisymmetric diurnal cycle. The former relationship likely breaks down during strong El Niño events, and both relationships likely break down during prolonged La Niña events.

Full access
Weixin Xu and Steven A. Rutledge

Abstract

This study investigates the convective population and environmental conditions during three MJO events over the central Indian Ocean in late 2011 using measurements collected from the Research Vessel (R/V) Roger Revelle deployed in Dynamics of the MJO (DYNAMO). Radar-based rainfall estimates from the Revelle C-band radar are first placed in the context of larger-scale Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) rainfall data to demonstrate that the reduced Revelle radar range captured the MJO convective evolution. Time series analysis and MJO phase-based composites of Revelle measurements both support the “recharge–discharge” MJO theory. Time series of echo-top heights indicate that convective deepening during the MJO onset occurs over a 12–16-day period. Composite statistics show evident recharging–discharging features in convection and the environment. Population of shallow/isolated convective cells, SST, CAPE, and the lower-tropospheric moisture increase (recharge) substantially approximately two to three phases prior to the MJO onset. Deep and intense convection and lightning peak in phase 1 when the sea surface temperature and CAPE are near maximum values. However, cells in this phase are not well organized and produce little stratiform rain, possibly owing to reduced shear and a relatively dry upper troposphere. The presence of deep convection leads the mid- to upper-tropospheric humidity by one to two phases, suggesting its role in moistening these levels. During the MJO onset (i.e., phase 2), the mid- to upper troposphere becomes very moist, and precipitation, radar echo-top heights, and the mesoscale extent of precipitation all increase and obtain peak values. Persistent heavy precipitation in these active periods helps reduce the SST and dry/stabilize (or discharge) the atmosphere.

Full access