Session 5R.2 Global distribution of convection penetrating the tropical tropopause

Tuesday, 25 October 2005: 3:45 PM
Alvarado ABC (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
Chuntao Liu, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and E. Zipser

Presentation PDF (732.6 kB)

Tropical deep convection reaching tropopause is identified using reflectivity profiles measured by Precipitation Radar onboard TRMM satellite. The common properties of these extreme convective systems are examined from a global perspective by defining five different tropopause reference heights using a 5-year TRMM database. It is found that 1.3% of tropical convection systems reach 14 km and 0.1% of them may even penetrate the 380K potential temperature level. Overshooting convection is more frequent over land than over water, especially over central Africa, Indonesia, and South America. The seasonal, diurnal and geo-distribution patterns of overshooting deep convection show very little sensitivity to the definition of the reference level. The global distribution of overshooting area, volume and precipitating ice mass shows that central Africa makes a disproportionately large contribution to overshooting convection. A semi annual cycle of total overshooting area, volume and precipitating ice mass is found.

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