ACS  Vol.5 No.2 , April 2015
Convective Rainfall in Amazonia and Adjacent Tropics
Hourly rainfall estimates from integrated satellite data are used to build a dynamically based climatology of convectively generated rainfall across South America, including tropical, sub-tropical and oceanic regions. Herein, we focus on 0S to 15S, including greater Amazon and NE Brazil leeward of the South Atlantic Ocean. Emphasis is placed on rainfall resulting from organized convective regimes, which are known to produce the majority of seasonal rainfall in various parts of South America and other continents. The statistical characteristics of individual events are quantified and examined with respect to regional atmospheric conditions. Among the factors considered are steering winds and wind shear, convective available potential energy (CAPE), sea and land breezes, and the occurrence of transient disturbances such as Kelvin Waves and Easterly Waves. Forcing and convective triggering mechanisms are inferred from the diagnosis of systematic patterns as evidenced in the continental diurnal cycle and longer periods of natural variability. The episodes of organized convection are analyzed in terms of their duration, span, phase speed, starting and ending time, starting and ending longitude, month and year through frequency distribution analysis. Most episodes of organized convection tend to move westward across the Amazon Basin. Descriptive statistics indicate average phase speed of westward and eastward episodes of convection in the Amazon basin at -11.8 m.s-1 and 13.0 m.s-1, respectively. Eastward propagating systems are influenced by northeastward moving cold fronts in Southern South America and tend to trigger and to organize convection across the Amazon Basin. Hourly rainfall analyses indicate that convection over the Amazon region is often organized.

Cite this paper
Filho, A. , Carbone, R. , Tuttle, J. and Karam, H. (2015) Convective Rainfall in Amazonia and Adjacent Tropics. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 5, 137-161. doi: 10.4236/acs.2015.52011.
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