Comprehensive Pattern of Deep Convective Systems over the Tibetan Plateau-South Asian Monsoon Region Based on TRMM Data

Qie, Xiushu; Wu, Xueke; Yuan, Tie; Bian, Jianchun; Lu, Daren
September 2014
Journal of Climate;Sep2014, Vol. 27 Issue 17, p6612
Academic Journal
Diurnal and seasonal variation, intensity, and structure of deep convective systems (DCSs; with 20-dB Z echo tops exceeding 14 km) over the Tibetan Plateau-South Asian monsoon region from the Tibetan Plateau (TP) to the ocean are investigated using 14 yr of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data. Four unique regions characterized by different orography are selected for comparison, including the TP, the southern Himalayan front (SHF), the South Asian subcontinent (SAS), and the ocean. DCSs and intense DCSs (IDCSs; with 40-dB Z echo tops exceeding 10 km) occur more frequently over the continent than over the ocean. About 23% of total DCSs develop into IDCSs in the SHF, followed by the TP (21%) and the SAS (15%), with the least over the ocean (2%). The average 20-dB Z echo-top height of IDCSs exceeds 16 km and 9% of them even exceed 18 km. DCSs and IDCSs are the most frequent over the SHF, especially in the westernmost SHF, where the intensity-in terms of strong radar echo-top (viz., 40 dB Z) height, ice-particle content, and lightning flash rate-is the strongest. DCSs over the TP are relatively weak in convective intensity and small in size but occur frequently. Oceanic DCSs possess the tallest cloud top (which mainly reflects small ice particles) and the largest size, but their convective intensity is markedly weaker. DCSs and IDCSs show a similar diurnal variation, mainly occurring in the afternoon with a peak at 1600 local time over land. Although most of both DCSs and IDCSs occur between April and October, DCSs have a peak in August, whereas IDCSs have a peak in May.


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