5R.6 Shallow convection in the tropics: How often and how much does it rain?

Tuesday, 25 October 2005: 4:45 PM
Alvarado ABC (Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town)
Courtney Schumacher, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX

Shallow convective clouds (i.e., with tops below the 0ยบC level) such as trade wind cumulus are often considered to be non-precipitating. However, ground radar observations from recent tropical field campaigns (e.g., RICO) show that these clouds can and do precipitate with potentially important impacts on boundary layer structure and mesoscale organization of convection. The percent of time shallow convection rains and the strength and structure of its precipitation remain unknown over much of the tropics. This study uses observations from the Precipitation Radar (PR) onboard the TRMM satellite and the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) onboard ICESat to describe the tropics-wide distribution of non-precipitating and precipitating shallow convection.
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