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Global Variability of Intense Convection. Robert A. Houze, Jr. University of Washington. ISSCP at 30, New York, 22 April 2013. Radars in Space. CloudSat 2006-. TRMM 1997-. Epic Floods in Pakistan 2010, 2011, 2012. TRMM data showing storms producing the floods. 2010. 2011. 2012. 30N.

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Global Variability of Intense Convection

Robert A. Houze, Jr.

University of Washington

ISSCP at 30, New York, 22 April 2013


Radars in Space

CloudSat

2006-

TRMM

1997-


Epic Floods in Pakistan2010, 2011, 2012


TRMM data showing storms producing the floods

2010

2011

2012

30N

Sindh

25N

65E

75E

65E

75E

65E

75E

16

Height (km)

8

0

0

287

0

232

0

241

Distance (km)



Large areas

of cold top

Example outbreak of MCSs


Radar echoes showing the precipitation in the 3 MCSs

StratiformPrecipitation

ConvectivePrecipitation

1458GMT 13 May 2004



TRMM Radar Distinguishes Convective and Stratiform Components of MCSs

Identify each contiguous 3D echo objectseen on radar

Convective component

Stratiform component

Extreme characteristic

Contiguous 3D volume ofconvective echo > 40 dBZ

Extreme characteristic

Contiguous stratiform echowith horizontal area > 50 000 km2

“Broad stratiform region”

Horizontal area >1 000 km2

“Wide convective core”

Top height > 10 km

“Deep convective core”



JJAS Components of MCSs

DJF

Deep Convective Cores

  • South Asia&SouthAmerica

Wide Convective Cores

BroadStratiformRegions


Deep Convective Cores Components of MCSs

Wide Convective Cores

  • Africa

BroadStratiformRegions



TRMM Radar Observations of the MJO over the Indian Ocean Components of MCSs

Active Phase

Suppressed Phase

Deep Convective Cores

Broad Stratiform Rain Areas

Phase 7




Basic components Components of MCSs

Cold top

Convective

Stratiform

Anvil

Anvil

Houze et al. 1989

Raining core

A-Train sees all of this!


How a train sees the whole mcs
How A-Train sees the whole MCS Components of MCSs

2

3

1


The Anvil Problem Components of MCSs

Mesoscale Convective System

Need to understand how anvil is related to the raining region

Extensively studied


Statistics of anvil width & thickness seen by CloudSat Components of MCSs

Africa

Indian Ocean

Yuan and Houze 2010


Internal structure of MCS anvils Components of MCSs

Africa

Indian Ocean

Yuan, Houze, and Heymsfield 2011



Identify High Cloud Systems (HCSs) Components of MCSs

Heavy rain

Rain

260K

Closedcontour

Separated

HCS

Connected

HCSs


Which HCSs are MCSs? Components of MCSs

Yuan and Houze 2010


PDF of rain amount as a function of raining core properties Components of MCSs

Min TB11 over raining core

220°K

Using these values for “MCS” criteria

56% all tropical rain

2000 km2

Yuan and Houze 2010

Size of raining core


MCSs Over the Whole Tropics Components of MCSs

Smallest 25% (<12,000 km2)

Largest 25% (>40,000 km2)

“Superclusters”

Yuan and Houze 2010


Indian Ocean MCSs Contribution to Rainfall by phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation

Active

Suppressed

Connected MCSs

Separated MCSs

Other high cloud systems

Yuan and Houze 2012


Composite MCS Lightning Madden-Julian Oscillation

Eq. Africa

Argentina

West Pacific

Eq. Atlantic

Connected

Separated

  • Determined from WWLLN


Composite MCS Lightning in the MJO Madden-Julian Oscillation

Separated

ACTIVE

Separated

SUPPRESSED


Conclusions Madden-Julian Oscillation

  • TRMM radar data:

    • Deep convection takes on various forms

    • Forms controlled bymountain ranges & flow regimes such as the MJO & monsoon

  • A-Train data

    • Show anvils of MCSs

    • Identifies MCSs globally

    • Lightning data related to MCSs, e. g. in MJO

    • To come: relate to aerosol observations


End Madden-Julian Oscillation

This research was supported by NASA grant NNX10AH70G, NASA grant NNX10AM28G, and NSF grant AGS-1144105


CloudSat applied to MCS anvils Madden-Julian Oscillation


Internal structure of MCS anvils Madden-Julian Oscillation

CVCV

CVCV

Indian Ocean Anvils


Cold top Madden-Julian Oscillation

Anvil

Anvil

Raining core

MODIS/AMSR-E

identifies cold top

locates the raining core

remainder is anvil


Frequency of MCS anvils over tropics Madden-Julian Oscillation

Yuan and Houze 2010


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