Observational and numerical data suggest that the development of a positive mid-level vorticity anomaly produces a dipole temperature anomaly that is highly conducive for the early development of tropical cyclones. Recent work by Raymond et al (2015) suggests that the balanced dynamics response of the thermodynamic environment to vorticity may be relevant to a broader class of tropical convection than just the case of cyclogenesis.
In this work, we analyze data from the 2011-2012 DYNAMO field program--Dynamics of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO)--to determine the extent to which balanced dynamics plays a role in the development of MJO convection. During the DYNAMO period, there were three significant instances of convective organization that resembled MJO events. The vorticity signature associated with each of these events differed, which provides the opportunity to evaluate the extent to which balanced dynamics influences individual MJO events. Preliminary diagnostics suggest that balanced dynamics does play a role in the development and decay of the organized convection in DYNAMO.