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Observed vertical structure of convection during dry and wet summer monsoon epochs over the Western Ghats

Publication Type : Journal Article

Publisher : Journal of Geophysical Research

Source : Journal of Geophysical Research, 124,1352-1369

Url :

Campus : Chennai

School : School of Engineering

Center : Amrita Innovation & Research

Department : Electronics and Communication

Verified : Yes

Year : 2019

Abstract : Summer precipitation over the Western Ghats (WG) is an important facet of Indian monsoon. The vertical structure of mesoscale convection during dry and wet epochs of regional precipitation is studied using X‐band Doppler radar, for the first time. The observed characteristics are distinctly different in terms of small‐scale convective and large‐scale atmospheric features for the dry versus wet regimes. The depth and intensity of convection is analyzed using various echo‐top heights (ETH). The frequency distribution of 0‐dBZ and 15‐dBZ ETH exhibits bimodality during the dry period, which changes to unimodal in wet period. Top‐heights of precipitating convection (characterized by 30‐dBZ echoes) decreased with low‐level static stability, suggesting preponderance of shallow convection with little stratiform clouds. Suppressed heating in the dry period is a signature of reduced 0‐dBZ ETH occurrence. However, its enhanced occurrence during the wet period resulted in cooling below 2 km, and increased heating aloft with maxima at 6 km. Near high precipitation events, mid‐tropospheric humidity rapidly builds‐up over 2‐3 days prior to increase in cloud top heights and areal coverage. Observations indicate large amplitude of ETH diurnal cycle during the dry period (especially over leeside) accompanied by weak upstream winds. However during the wet period, smaller amplitude of ETH is evident (throughout the radar domain) under strong upstream wind conditions. Convective activity during the late afternoon hours produces higher lighting flashes in the dry period compared to the wet. The lightning occurrences are related with penetrations of 30‐dBZ ETH above the freezing level and convective area fractions.

Cite this Research Publication : Utsav, B., Deshpande, S. M., Das, S. K., Pandithurai, G., & Niyogi, D. Observed vertical structure of convection during dry and wet summer monsoon epochs over the Western Ghats Journal of Geophysical Research, 124,1352-1369

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