On the role of aerosols, humidity, and vertical wind shear in the transition of shallow-to-deep convection at the Green Ocean Amazon 2014/5 site

Chakraborty, Sudip; Schiro, Kathleen A.; Fu, Rong; Neelin, J. David

The preconditioning of the atmosphere for a shallow-to-deep convective transition during the dry-to-wet season transition period (August–November) is investigated using Department of Energy (DOE) Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) GoAmazon2014/5 campaign data from March 2014 to November 2015 in Manacapuru, Brazil. In comparison to conditions observed prior to shallow convection, anomalously high humidity in the free troposphere and boundary layer is observed prior to a shallow-to-deep convection transition. An entraining plume model, which captures this leading dependence on lower tropospheric moisture, is employed to study indirect thermodynamic effects associated with vertical wind shear (VWS) and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentration on preconvective conditions. The shallow-to-deep convective transition primarily depends on humidity, especially that from the free troposphere, which tends to increase plume buoyancy. Conditions preceding deep convection are associated with high relative humidity, and low-to-moderate CCN concentration (less than the 67th percentile, 1274 cminline-formula−3). VWS, however, shows little relation to moisture and plume buoyancy. Buoyancy estimates suggest that the latent heat release due to freezing is important to deep convective growth under all conditions analyzed, consistent with potential pathways for aerosol effects, even in the presence of a strong entrainment. Shallow-only convective growth, however, shows an association with a strong (weak) low (deep) level VWS and with higher CCN concentration.

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Chakraborty, Sudip / Schiro, Kathleen A. / Fu, Rong / et al: On the role of aerosols, humidity, and vertical wind shear in the transition of shallow-to-deep convection at the Green Ocean Amazon 2014/5 site. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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