The diurnal cycle of convection, clouds, and water vapor in the tropical upper troposphere

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79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hourly observations of the 6.7 μm water vapor radiances from geostationary satellites are used to document the diurnal cycle in upper tropospheric water vapor and its relationship to cloud cover and convection. A coherent diurnal cycle in tropical water vapor is observed which lags the variations in cloud cover by approximately 2 hours. The variations in upper tropospheric cloud and water vapor occur (roughly) in phase with changes in deep convection over land, but nearly 12 hours out of phase with those over ocean. This feature is shown to be associated with differences in the vertical structure of land and ocean convection and offers a useful test of convective parameterizations in atmospheric models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2173-2176
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume27
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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