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  • Author or Editor: D. A. Short x
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C-H. Sui, K-M. Lau, Y. N. Takayabu, and D. A. Short


Diurnal variations in atmospheric convection, dynamic/thermodynamic fields, and heat/moisture budgets over the equatorial Pacific warm pool region are analyzed based on data collected from different observation platforms during the Intensive Observation Period of the Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean–Atmosphere Response Experiment (TOGA COARE). Results reveal that the diurnal variations in rainfall/convection over the TOGA COARE region can be classified into three distinct stages: warm morning cumulus, afternoon convective showers, and nocturnal convective systems. Afternoon rainfall comes mostly from convective cells, but the nocturnal rainfall is derived from deeper convective cells and large areas of stratiform clouds. Results further show that afternoon convective showers are more evident in the large-scale undisturbed periods when the diurnal SST cycle is strong, but the nocturnal convective systems and morning cumulus are more enhanced in the disturbed periods when more moisture is available. The primary cause of the nocturnal rainfall maximum is suggested to be associated with more (less) available precipitable water in the night (day) due to the diurnal radiative cooling/heating cycle and the resultant change in tropospheric relative humidity.

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