Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2013

Abstract

Data collected around the Santa Catalina Mountains in Arizona as part of the Cumulus Photogrammetric, In Situ and Doppler Observations (CuPIDO) experiment during the 2006 summer monsoon season are used to investigate the effect of soil moisture on the surface energy balance, boundary layer (BL) characteristics, thermally forced orographic circulations, and orographic cumulus convection. An unusual wet spell allows separation of the two-month campaign in a wet and a dry soil period. Days in the wet soil period tend to have a higher surface latent heat flux, lower soil and air temperatures, a more stable and shallower BL, and weaker solenoidal forcing resulting in weaker anabatic flow, in comparison with days in the dry soil period. The wet soil period is also characterized by higher humidity and moist static energy in the BL, implying a lower cumulus cloud base and higher convective available potential energy. Therefore, this period witnesses rather early growth of orographic cumulus convection, growing rapidly to the cumulonimbus stage, often before noon, and producing precipitation rather efficiently, with relatively little lightning. Data alone do not allow discrimination between soil moisture and advected airmass characteristics in explaining these differences. Hence, the need for a numerical sensitivity experiment, in Part II of this study. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

DOI

10.1175/MWR-D-12-00150.1

Comments

© Copyright 2013 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act September 2010 Page 2 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a web site or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyrights@ametsoc.org.

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