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GNSS observations of deep convective time scales in the Amazon

Abstract

In the tropics, understanding the shallow-to-deep transition and organization of convection on the mesoscale is made difficult due the paucity of long-term high spatial/temporal resolution data. In this paper, data from the world's first long-term equatorial Global Navigational Satellite System meteorological station in Manaus (Central Amazon) is used to create a new metric, a water vapor convergence time scale, to characterize the temporal evolution of deep convection over a tropical continental region. From 3.5 years of data, 320 convective events were analyzed using a compositing analysis. Results reveal two characteristic time scales of water vapor convergence; an 8 h time scale of weak convergence and 4 h timescale of intense water vapor convergence associated with the shallow-to-deep convection transition. The 4 h shallow-to-deep transition time scale is particularly robust, regardless of convective intensity, seasonality, or nocturnal versus daytime convection. This new result provides a useful metric for both high resolution and global climate models to replicate.

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