This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant ATM0555796. Ming Zhao was supported under Award NA17RJ2612 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. We thank PI Chris Bretherton and the entire Climate Process Team on low-latitude clouds for vital inputs and feedback, and three reviewers for many manuscript improvement ideas. Correspondence with Peter Blossey, Charlotte DeMott, and Matt Wyant also improved the paper.
Bacmeister, J. T., , M. J. Suarez, , and F. R. Robinson, 2006: Rain reevaporation, boundary layer convection interactions, and Pacific rainfall patterns in an AGCM. J. Atmos. Sci., 63 , 3383–3403.
Blossey, P. N., , C. S. Bretherton, , J. Cetrone, , and M. Khairoutdinov, 2007: Cloud resolving model simulations of KWAJEX: Model sensitivities and comparisons with satellite and radar observations. J. Atmos. Sci., 64 , 1488–1508.
Bosilovich, M. G., , and R. Lawford, 2002: Coordinated Enhanced Observing Period (CEOP) international workshop. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 83 , 1495–1499.
Boyle, J., , S. Klein, , G. Zhang, , S. Xie, , and X. Wei, 2008: Climate model forecast experiments for TOGA COARE. Mon. Wea. Rev., 136 , 808–832.
Bretherton, C. S., 2007: Challenges in numerical modeling of tropical circulations. The Global Circulation of the Atmosphere, T. Schneider and A. H. Sobel, Eds., Princeton University Press, 302–330.
Bryan, G. H., , and M. J. Fritsch, 2000: Moist absolute instability: The sixth static stability state. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 81 , 1207–1230.
DeMott, C. A., , D. A. Randall, , and M. Khairoutdinov, 2007: Convective precipitation variability as a tool for general circulation model analysis. J. Climate, 20 , 91–112.
Folkins, I., , S. Fueglistaler, , G. Lesins, , and T. Mitovski, 2008: A low-level circulation in the tropics. J. Atmos. Sci., 65 , 1019–1034.
Held, I., , M. Zhao, , and B. Wyman, 2007: Dynamic radiative–convective equilibria using GCM column physics. J. Atmos. Sci., 64 , 228–238.
Houze, R. A., 1997: Stratiform precipitation in regions of convection: A meteorological paradox? Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 78 , 2179–2196.
Johnson, R. H., , and P. E. Ciesielski, 2000: Rainfall and radiative heating rates from TOGA COARE atmospheric budgets. J. Atmos. Sci., 57 , 1497–1514.
Lin, J. L., and Coauthors, 2006: Tropical intraseasonal variability in 14 IPCC AR4 climate models. Part I: Convective signals. J. Climate, 19 , 2665–2690.
Mapes, B. E., , S. Tulich, , J. L. Lin, , and P. Zuidema, 2006: The mesoscale convection life cycle: Building block or prototype for large scale tropical waves? Dyn. Atmos. Oceans, 42 , 3–29.
Mapes, B. E., , R. Milliff, , and J. Morzel, 2009: Composite life cycle of maritime tropical mesoscale convective systems in scatterometer and microwave satellite observations. J. Atmos. Sci., 66 , 199–208.
Moorthi, S., , and M. J. Suarez, 1992: Relaxed Arakawa–Schubert: A parameterization of moist convection for general circulation models. Mon. Wea. Rev., 120 , 978–1002.
Randall, D. A., , K. M. Xu, , R. J. C. Somerville, , and S. Iacobellis, 1996: Single column models and cloud ensemble models as links between observations and climate models. J. Climate, 9 , 1683–1697.
Sherwood, S. C., , and R. Wahrlich, 1999: Observed evolution of tropical deep convective events and their environment. Mon. Wea. Rev., 127 , 1777–1795.
Silva Dias, M. A. F., and Coauthors, 2002: Cloud and rain processes in a biosphere-atmosphere interaction context in the Amazon region. J. Geophys. Res., 107 , 8072. doi:10.1029/2001JD000335.
Sobel, A. H., , S. E. Yuter, , C. S. Bretherton, , and G. N. Kiladis, 2004: Large-scale meteorology and deep convection during TRMM KWAJEX. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132 , 422–444.
Wyant, M. C., , C. S. Bretherton, , J. T. Bacmeister, , J. T. Kiehl, , I. M. Held, , M. Zhao, , S. A. Klein, , and B. A. Soden, 2006: A comparison of tropical cloud properties and responses in GCMs using midtropospheric vertical velocity. Climate Dyn., 27 , 261–279.
Yanai, M., , S. Esbensen, , and J. H. Chu, 1973: Determination of bulk properties of tropical cloud clusters from large-scale heat and moisture budgets. J. Atmos. Sci., 30 , 611–627.
Zipser, E. J., 1977: Mesoscale and convective-scale downdrafts as distinct components of squall-line structure. Mon. Wea. Rev., 105 , 1568–1589.