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David K. Adams, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, and Karen Patricia Gaitán De Los Ríos

Abstract

Deep atmospheric convection, which covers a large range of spatial scales during its evolution, continues to be a challenge for models to replicate, particularly over land in the tropics. Specifically, the shallow-to-deep convective transition and organization on the mesoscale are often not properly represented in coarse-resolution models. High-resolution models offer insights on physical mechanisms responsible for the shallow-to-deep transition. Model verification, however, at both coarse and high resolution requires validation and, hence, observational metrics, which are lacking in the tropics. Here a straightforward metric derived from the Amazon Dense GNSS Meteorological Network (~100 km × 100 km) is presented based on a spatial correlation decay time scale during convective evolution on the mesoscale. For the shallow-to-deep transition, the correlation decay time scale is shown to be around 3.5 h. This novel result provides a much needed metric from the deep tropics for numerical models to replicate.

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Josefina Moraes Arraut, Carlos Nobre, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Guillermo Obregon, and José Marengo

Abstract

This is an observational study of the large-scale moisture transport over South America, with some analyses on its relation to subtropical rainfall. The concept of aerial rivers is proposed as a framework: it is an analogy between the main pathways of moisture flow in the atmosphere and surface rivers. Opposite to surface rivers, aerial rivers gain (lose) water through evaporation (precipitation). The magnitude of the vertically integrated moisture transport is discharge, and precipitable water is like the mass of the liquid column—multiplied by an equivalent speed it gives discharge. Trade wind flow into Amazonia, and the north/northwesterly flow to the subtropics, east of the Andes, are aerial rivers. Aerial lakes are the sections of a moisture pathway where the flow slows down and broadens, because of diffluence, and becomes deeper, with higher precipitable water. This is the case over Amazonia, downstream of the trade wind confluence. In the dry season, moisture from the aerial lake is transported northeastward, but weaker flow over southern Amazonia heads southward toward the subtropics. Southern Amazonia appears as a source of moisture to this flow. Aerial river discharge to the subtropics is comparable to that of the Amazon River. The variations of the amount of moisture coming from Amazonia have an important effect over the variability of discharge. Correlations between the flow from Amazonia and subtropical rainfall are not strong. However, some months within the set of dry seasons observed showed a strong increase (decrease) occurring together with an important increase (decrease) in subtropical rainfall.

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Niklas Boers, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Bodo Bookhagen, José A. Marengo, Norbert Marwan, and Jürgen Kurths

Abstract

Based on high-spatiotemporal-resolution data, the authors perform a climatological study of strong rainfall events propagating from southeastern South America to the eastern slopes of the central Andes during the monsoon season. These events account for up to 70% of total seasonal rainfall in these areas. They are of societal relevance because of associated natural hazards in the form of floods and landslides, and they form an intriguing climatic phenomenon, because they propagate against the direction of the low-level moisture flow from the tropics. The responsible synoptic mechanism is analyzed using suitable composites of the relevant atmospheric variables with high temporal resolution. The results suggest that the low-level inflow from the tropics, while important for maintaining sufficient moisture in the area of rainfall, does not initiate the formation of rainfall clusters. Instead, alternating low and high pressure anomalies in midlatitudes, which are associated with an eastward-moving Rossby wave train, in combination with the northwestern Argentinean low, create favorable pressure and wind conditions for frontogenesis and subsequent precipitation events propagating from southeastern South America toward the Bolivian Andes.

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Juan Carlos Antuña-Marrero, Eduardo Landulfo, René Estevan, Boris Barja, Alan Robock, Elián Wolfram, Pablo Ristori, Barclay Clemesha, Francesco Zaratti, Ricardo Forno, Errico Armandillo, Álvaro E. Bastidas, Ángel M. de Frutos Baraja, David N. Whiteman, Eduardo Quel, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Fabio Lopes, Elena Montilla-Rosero, and Juan L. Guerrero-Rascado

Abstract

Sustained and coordinated efforts of lidar teams in Latin America at the beginning of the twenty-first century have built the Latin American Lidar Network (LALINET), the only observational network in Latin America created by the agreement and commitment of Latin American scientists. They worked with limited funding but an abundance of enthusiasm and commitment toward their joint goal. Before LALINET, there were a few pioneering lidar stations operating in Latin America, described briefly here. Biannual Latin American lidar workshops, held from 2001 to the present, supported both the development of the regional lidar community and LALINET. At those meetings, lidar researchers from Latin America met to conduct regular scientific and technical exchanges among themselves and with experts from the rest of the world. Regional and international scientific cooperation has played an important role in the development of both the individual teams and the network. The current LALINET status and activities are described, emphasizing the processes of standardization of the measurements, methodologies, calibration protocols, and retrieval algorithms. Failures and successes achieved in the buildup of LALINET are presented. In addition, the first LALINET joint measurement campaign and a set of aerosol extinction profile measurements obtained from the aerosol plume produced by the Calbuco volcano eruption on 22 April 2015 are described and discussed.

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David K. Adams, Rui M. S. Fernandes, Kirk L. Holub, Seth I. Gutman, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Luiz A. T. Machado, Alan J. P. Calheiros, Richard A. Bennett, E. Robert Kursinski, Luiz F. Sapucci, Charles DeMets, Glayson F. B. Chagas, Ave Arellano, Naziano Filizola, Alciélio A. Amorim Rocha, Rosimeire Araújo Silva, Lilia M. F. Assunção, Glauber G. Cirino, Theotonio Pauliquevis, Bruno T. T. Portela, André Sá, Jeanne M. de Sousa, and Ludmila M. S. Tanaka

Abstract

The complex interactions between water vapor fields and deep atmospheric convection remain one of the outstanding problems in tropical meteorology. The lack of high spatial–temporal resolution, all-weather observations in the tropics has hampered progress. Numerical models have difficulties, for example, in representing the shallow-to-deep convective transition and the diurnal cycle of precipitation. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) meteorology, which provides all-weather, high-frequency (5 min), precipitable water vapor estimates, can help. The Amazon Dense GNSS Meteorological Network experiment, the first of its kind in the tropics, was created with the aim of examining water vapor and deep convection relationships at the mesoscale. This innovative, Brazilian-led international experiment consisted of two mesoscale (100 km × 100 km) networks: 1) a 1-yr (April 2011–April 2012) campaign (20 GNSS meteorological sites) in and around Manaus and 2) a 6-week (June 2011) intensive campaign (15 GNSS meteorological sites) in and around Belem, the latter in collaboration with the Cloud Processes of the Main Precipitation Systems in Brazil: A Contribution to Cloud-Resolving Modeling and to the Global Precipitation Measurement (CHUVA) Project in Brazil. Results presented here from both networks focus on the diurnal cycle of precipitable water vapor associated with sea-breeze convection in Belem and seasonal and topographic influences in and around Manaus. Ultimately, these unique observations may serve to initialize, constrain, or validate precipitable water vapor in high-resolution models. These experiments also demonstrate that GNSS meteorology can expand into logistically difficult regions such as the Amazon. Other GNSS meteorology networks presently being constructed in the tropics are summarized.

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Luiz A. T. Machado, Maria A. F. Silva Dias, Carlos Morales, Gilberto Fisch, Daniel Vila, Rachel Albrecht, Steven J. Goodman, Alan J. P. Calheiros, Thiago Biscaro, Christian Kummerow, Julia Cohen, David Fitzjarrald, Ernani L. Nascimento, Meiry S. Sakamoto, Christopher Cunningham, Jean-Pierre Chaboureau, Walter A. Petersen, David K. Adams, Luca Baldini, Carlos F. Angelis, Luiz F. Sapucci, Paola Salio, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Eduardo Landulfo, Rodrigo A. F. Souza, Richard J. Blakeslee, Jeffrey Bailey, Saulo Freitas, Wagner F. A. Lima, and Ali Tokay

CHUVA, meaning “rain” in Portuguese, is the acronym for the Cloud Processes of the Main Precipitation Systems in Brazil: A Contribution to Cloud-Resolving Modeling and to the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM). The CHUVA project has conducted five field campaigns; the sixth and last campaign will be held in Manaus in 2014. The primary scientific objective of CHUVA is to contribute to the understanding of cloud processes, which represent one of the least understood components of the weather and climate system. The five CHUVA campaigns were designed to investigate specific tropical weather regimes. The first two experiments, in Alcantara and Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil, focused on warm clouds. The third campaign, which was conducted in Belém, was dedicated to tropical squall lines that often form along the sea-breeze front. The fourth campaign was in the Vale do Paraiba of southeastern Brazil, which is a region with intense lightning activity. In addition to contributing to the understanding of cloud process evolution from storms to thunderstorms, this fourth campaign also provided a high-fidelity total lightning proxy dataset for the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES)-R program. The fifth campaign was carried out in Santa Maria, in southern Brazil, a region of intense hailstorms associated with frequent mesoscale convective complexes. This campaign employed a multimodel high-resolution ensemble experiment. The data collected from contrasting precipitation regimes in tropical continental regions allow the various cloud processes in diverse environments to be compared. Some examples of these previous experiments are presented to illustrate the variability of convection across the tropics.

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Silvio N. Figueroa, José P. Bonatti, Paulo Y. Kubota, Georg A. Grell, Hugh Morrison, Saulo R. M. Barros, Julio P. R. Fernandez, Enver Ramirez, Leo Siqueira, Graziela Luzia, Josiane Silva, Juliana R. Silva, Jayant Pendharkar, Vinicius B. Capistrano, Débora S. Alvim, Diego P. Enoré, Fábio L. R. Diniz, Praki Satyamurti, Iracema F. A. Cavalcanti, Paulo Nobre, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Celso L. Mendes, and Jairo Panetta

Abstract

This article describes the main features of the Brazilian Global Atmospheric Model (BAM), analyses of its performance for tropical rainfall forecasting, and its sensitivity to convective scheme and horizontal resolution. BAM is the new global atmospheric model of the Center for Weather Forecasting and Climate Research [Centro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climáticos (CPTEC)], which includes a new dynamical core and state-of-the-art parameterization schemes. BAM’s dynamical core incorporates a monotonic two-time-level semi-Lagrangian scheme, which is carried out completely on the model grid for the tridimensional transport of moisture, microphysical prognostic variables, and tracers. The performance of the quantitative precipitation forecasts (QPFs) from two convective schemes, the Grell–Dévényi (GD) scheme and its modified version (GDM), and two different horizontal resolutions are evaluated against the daily TRMM Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis over different tropical regions. Three main results are 1) the QPF skill was improved substantially with GDM in comparison to GD; 2) the increase in the horizontal resolution without any ad hoc tuning improves the variance of precipitation over continents with complex orography, such as Africa and South America, whereas over oceans there are no significant differences; and 3) the systematic errors (dry or wet biases) remain virtually unchanged for 5-day forecasts. Despite improvements in the tropical precipitation forecasts, especially over southeastern Brazil, dry biases over the Amazon and La Plata remain in BAM. Improving the precipitation forecasts over these regions remains a challenge for the future development of the model to be used not only for numerical weather prediction over South America but also for global climate simulations.

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Manfred Wendisch, Ulrich Pöschl, Meinrat O. Andreae, Luiz A. T. Machado, Rachel Albrecht, Hans Schlager, Daniel Rosenfeld, Scot T. Martin, Ahmed Abdelmonem, Armin Afchine, Alessandro C. Araùjo, Paulo Artaxo, Heinfried Aufmhoff, Henrique M. J. Barbosa, Stephan Borrmann, Ramon Braga, Bernhard Buchholz, Micael Amore Cecchini, Anja Costa, Joachim Curtius, Maximilian Dollner, Marcel Dorf, Volker Dreiling, Volker Ebert, André Ehrlich, Florian Ewald, Gilberto Fisch, Andreas Fix, Fabian Frank, Daniel Fütterer, Christopher Heckl, Fabian Heidelberg, Tilman Hüneke, Evelyn Jäkel, Emma Järvinen, Tina Jurkat, Sandra Kanter, Udo Kästner, Mareike Kenntner, Jürgen Kesselmeier, Thomas Klimach, Matthias Knecht, Rebecca Kohl, Tobias Kölling, Martina Krämer, Mira Krüger, Trismono Candra Krisna, Jost V. Lavric, Karla Longo, Christoph Mahnke, Antonio O. Manzi, Bernhard Mayer, Stephan Mertes, Andreas Minikin, Sergej Molleker, Steffen Münch, Björn Nillius, Klaus Pfeilsticker, Christopher Pöhlker, Anke Roiger, Diana Rose, Dagmar Rosenow, Daniel Sauer, Martin Schnaiter, Johannes Schneider, Christiane Schulz, Rodrigo A. F. de Souza, Antonio Spanu, Paul Stock, Daniel Vila, Christiane Voigt, Adrian Walser, David Walter, Ralf Weigel, Bernadett Weinzierl, Frank Werner, Marcia A. Yamasoe, Helmut Ziereis, Tobias Zinner, and Martin Zöger

Abstract

Between 1 September and 4 October 2014, a combined airborne and ground-based measurement campaign was conducted to study tropical deep convective clouds over the Brazilian Amazon rain forest. The new German research aircraft, High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO), a modified Gulfstream G550, and extensive ground-based instrumentation were deployed in and near Manaus (State of Amazonas). The campaign was part of the German–Brazilian Aerosol, Cloud, Precipitation, and Radiation Interactions and Dynamics of Convective Cloud Systems–Cloud Processes of the Main Precipitation Systems in Brazil: A Contribution to Cloud Resolving Modeling and to the GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) (ACRIDICON– CHUVA) venture to quantify aerosol–cloud–precipitation interactions and their thermodynamic, dynamic, and radiative effects by in situ and remote sensing measurements over Amazonia. The ACRIDICON–CHUVA field observations were carried out in cooperation with the second intensive operating period of Green Ocean Amazon 2014/15 (GoAmazon2014/5). In this paper we focus on the airborne data measured on HALO, which was equipped with about 30 in situ and remote sensing instruments for meteorological, trace gas, aerosol, cloud, precipitation, and spectral solar radiation measurements. Fourteen research flights with a total duration of 96 flight hours were performed. Five scientific topics were pursued: 1) cloud vertical evolution and life cycle (cloud profiling), 2) cloud processing of aerosol particles and trace gases (inflow and outflow), 3) satellite and radar validation (cloud products), 4) vertical transport and mixing (tracer experiment), and 5) cloud formation over forested/deforested areas. Data were collected in near-pristine atmospheric conditions and in environments polluted by biomass burning and urban emissions. The paper presents a general introduction of the ACRIDICON– CHUVA campaign (motivation and addressed research topics) and of HALO with its extensive instrument package, as well as a presentation of a few selected measurement results acquired during the flights for some selected scientific topics.

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