Variability in vertical structure of precipitation with sea surface temperature over the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal as inferred by Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission precipitation radar measurements
Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) precipitation radar measurements are used to examine the variation in vertical structure of precipitation with sea surface temperature (SST) over the Arabian Sea (AS) and Bay of Bengal (BOB). The variation in reflectivity and precipitation echo top with SST is remarkable over the AS but small over the BOB. The reflectivity increases with SST (from 26 to 31 ∘C) by ∼1 and 4 dBZ above and below 6 km, respectively, over the AS, while its variation is <0.5 dBZ over the BOB. The transition from shallow storms at lower SSTs (≤27 ∘C) to deeper storms at higher SSTs is strongly associated with the decrease in stability and mid-tropospheric wind shear over the AS. In contrary, the storms are deeper at all SSTs over the BOB due to weaker stability and mid-tropospheric wind shear. At lower SSTs, the observed high aerosol optical depth (AOD) and low total column water (TCW) over AS results in the small cloud effective radius (CER) and weaker reflectivity. As SST increases, AOD decreases and TCW increases, leading to a large CER and high reflectivity. The changes in these parameters with SST are marginal over the BOB and hence the CER and reflectivity. The predominance of collision–coalescence process below the bright band is responsible for the observed negative slopes in the reflectivity over both the seas. The observed variations in reflectivity originate at the cloud formation stage over both the seas, and these variations are magnified during the descent of hydrometeors to the ground.