Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 2 of 2 items for

  • Author or Editor: David M. Zermeño-Díaz x
  • All content x
Clear All Modify Search
David M. Zermeño-Diaz and Chidong Zhang

Abstract

Most global climate models (GCMs) suffer from biases of a reversed zonal gradient in sea surface temperature (SST) and weak surface easterlies (the westerly bias) in the equatorial Atlantic during boreal spring. These biases exist in atmospheric GCMs (AGCMs) and are amplified by air–sea interactions in atmospheric–oceanic GCMs. This problem has persisted despite considerable model improvements in other aspects. This study proposes a hypothesis that there are two possible root causes for the westerly bias. The first is insufficient lower-tropospheric diabatic heating over Amazonia. The second is erroneously weak zonal momentum flux (entrainment) across the top of the boundary layer. This hypothesis is based on a scale analysis of a simple model for a well-mixed equatorial boundary layer and diagnoses of simulations from eight AGCMs. Severe westerly biases in AGCMs tend to occur when the diabatic heating at low levels (850–700 hPa) over Amazonia is too weak. Deficient low-level diabatic heating weakens the zonal gradient in sea level pressure along the Atlantic equator, introducing westerly biases. In addition, westerly biases may also occur when easterly momentum flux due to entrainment is underestimated.

Full access
David M. Zermeño-Díaz, Chidong Zhang, Pavlos Kollias, and Heike Kalesse

Abstract

Observations from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) site at Manus Island in the western Pacific and (re)analysis products are used to investigate moistening by shallow cumulus clouds and by the circulation in large-scale convective events. Large-scale convective events are defined as rainfall anomalies larger than one standard deviation for a minimum of three consecutive days over a 10° × 10° domain centered at Manus. These events are categorized into two groups: Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) events, with eastward propagation, and non-MJO events, without propagation. Shallow cumulus clouds are identified as continuous time–height echoes from 1-min cloud radar observations with their tops below the freezing level and their bases within the boundary layer. Daily moistening tendencies of shallow clouds, estimated from differences between their mean liquid water content and precipitation over their presumed life spans, and those of physical processes and advection from (re)analysis products are compared with local moistening tendencies from soundings. Increases in low-level moisture before rainfall peaks of MJO and non-MJO events are evident in both observations and reanalyses. Before and after the rainfall peaks of these events, precipitating and nonprecipitating shallow clouds exist all the time, but their occurrence fluctuates randomly. Their contributions to moisture tendencies through evaporation of condensed water are evident. These clouds provide perpetual background moistening to the lower troposphere but do not cause the observed increase in low-level moisture leading to rainfall peaks. Such moisture increase is mainly caused by anomalous nonlinear zonal advection.

Full access