P1E.5 Characteristics of Intense Deep Tropical Convection During TCSP and other NASA Field Campaigns

Tuesday, 29 April 2008
Palms ABCD (Wyndham Orlando Resort)
Gerald M. Heymsfield, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD; and L. Tian and L. Li

Knowledge of the properties of convection in the tropics is important for understanding the latent heating process as well as for providing more realistic model simulations. The tropical storm genesis process often has attendant strong convection for example, and whether or not the affects of this convection are properly simulated properly can only be determined from measurements. We have embarked on an effort to utilize airborne measurements from the ER-2 Doppler Radar (EDOP) for obtaining general properties of deep tropical convection. The data base includes a variety of convective events in various environments ranging from Florida sea breeze convection hurricane hot towers. Emphasis will be on the tropical storms during CAMEX-4 and TCSP.

The ER-2 measurements that are primarily in the Western Atlantic, Caribbean, Eastern Pacific, and South America, have sampled isolated convection, mesoscale systems, and tropical storms. We have assembled over 60 cases of intense, deep convective events from EDOP, and have compared the reflectivity and vertical motion characteristics for these cases. The vertical motions were computed from the EDOP Doppler wind fields using fallspeed relations based on reflectivity. The reflectivity characteristics were compiled similar to Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM) statistics compiled in papers by Nesbitt et al. (2003) and other papers. The updraft properties for these storms was compiled in terms maximum updraft and downdraft strengths, widths of updrafts, etc. The comparison shows interesting differences such as the weaker intensity of convection in the EPAC (Central America region) as compared with the Caribbean. The differences between the reflectivity and vertical velocities in hurricanes had a wide range of intensities.

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