A Classification of the Structure of the Tropical Atmosphere and Related Energy Fluxes

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  • 1 Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22903
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Abstract

Meteorological data from the tropics have been classified according to a scheme based on the rate of moist convection obtained indirectly from cloud photos. The degree of convection has been categorized into six modes ranging from severely depressed to severely enhanced. Simultaneous high-resolution measurements of tropospheric static energy, longwave radiation, and sensible and latent heat fluxes across the air-sea interface were categorized accordingly. The specific results clearly reveal many of the physical processes associated with the observed changes in the variables which are discussed. They also emphasize the complex interaction of the various processes and scales of motion, which suggests application of classification techniques in parameterization of variables.

Abstract

Meteorological data from the tropics have been classified according to a scheme based on the rate of moist convection obtained indirectly from cloud photos. The degree of convection has been categorized into six modes ranging from severely depressed to severely enhanced. Simultaneous high-resolution measurements of tropospheric static energy, longwave radiation, and sensible and latent heat fluxes across the air-sea interface were categorized accordingly. The specific results clearly reveal many of the physical processes associated with the observed changes in the variables which are discussed. They also emphasize the complex interaction of the various processes and scales of motion, which suggests application of classification techniques in parameterization of variables.

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