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The Influence of Desert Heat Lows on Monsoon Precipitation

Monsoon Desert Heat


Titre : The Influence of Desert Heat Lows on Monsoon Precipitation

Organismes NSF : AGS Div Atmospheric & Geospace Sciences

Durée : July 1, 2017 // April 30, 2019

This is a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) project to support a junior faculty member in developing and conducting an integrated 5-year program of research and education in atmospheric science. The research component examines the connection between monsoons and the deserts typically found adjacent to monsoon regions on the poleward side (as, for instance, the Sahara is poleward of and adjacent to the Sahel). Previous work by the PI shows that variations in precipitation in several monsoon regions including the Sahel, South Asia, and Australia, are positively correlated with equivalent potential temperature below the cloud layer over adjacent poleward deserts. One hypothesis for this relationship is that desert heat lows produce shallow overturning circulations in which outflow near the 700mb level has an equatorward component which reduces monsoon precipitation by warming and drying the mid-troposphere over the region of monsoonal deep convection. To advance understanding of such monsoon-desert relationships, work under this award will address three main questions : 1) Does shallow flow in desert heat lows alter monsoon precipitation primarily through horizontal advection of moisture and dry static energy ? 2) How important are low-level transient eddies in interactions between desert heat lows and monsoons ? 3) Do heat lows interact with monsoon precipitation in fundamentally the same way in West Africa, South Asia, and Australia ? These research questions are addressed through a three-part research agenda in which the tasks are 1) characterize the monsoon-desert relationships found in observations, based on a combination of in situ, satellite, and reanalysis datasets ; 2) explore these relationships using a simple theoretical model ; and 3) conduct process studies using a state-of-the-art numerical model.

Partenaire (s) : William Boos william.boos (Principal Investigator)

Sponsor  : University of California-Berkeley

Financement : $241,536.00

National Science Foundation

Page publiée le 25 juin 2018