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Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 158; doi:10.3390/atmos8090158

Origins of Moist Air in Global Lagrangian Simulations of the Madden–Julian Oscillation

1
Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
2
Earth and Environmental Sciences, Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA 17870, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 May 2017 / Revised: 14 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Madden-Julian Oscillation)
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Abstract

Many recent studies have characterized the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) as a moisture mode, suggesting that its amplification and eastward propagation result from processes that build up moisture to the east of the MJO’s convective center, including frictionally driven boundary layer convergence, surface fluxes, and shallow convection. Discussions of MJO moistening under this theory often implicitly assume an Eulerian framework; i.e., that local increases in moisture result from physical processes acting in the same location as the moistening is observed. In this study, the authors examine MJO moistening in a Lagrangian framework using a model that simulates atmospheric circulations by predicting the motions of individual air parcels. Back trajectories are presented for parcels in moist convecting regions of the MJO, and the effects of different physical processes on their moisture and moist static energy budgets are quantified. The Lagrangian MJO simulations suggest that much of the low-level moist air in heavily precipitating regions of the MJO arrives via the mid troposphere, coming from nearby equatorial regions, where it has been moistened largely by convective processes. Consequently, a thorough understanding of MJO moistening requires knowledge of the origin of the moist air and information about remote moisture sources. View Full-Text
Keywords: Madden–Julian oscillation; moisture budget; Lagrangian atmospheric model Madden–Julian oscillation; moisture budget; Lagrangian atmospheric model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Haertel, P.; Boos, W.R.; Straub, K. Origins of Moist Air in Global Lagrangian Simulations of the Madden–Julian Oscillation. Atmosphere 2017, 8, 158.

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