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Title: Precipitation and water vapor transport in the Southern Hemisphere with emphasis on the South American region
Authors: Arraut, Josefina Moraes
Satyamurty, Prakki
Keywords: Amazonia
Atlantic Ocean
Convergence Zones
Double Peak
Eastern Pacific
Integrated Water Vapors
Local Maximum
Meridional Transport
Moisture Flow
North Atlantic
Atlantic Ocean (north)
Rain Forests
Rainfall Distribution
Rainy Seasons
South America
South Atlantic
Southern Hemisphere
Tropical Atlantic
Water Vapor Transport
Water Vapor
Atmospheric Moisture
Moisture Transfer
Precipitation (climatology)
Precipitation Assessment
Southern Hemisphere
Water Vapor
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean (north)
Issue Date: 2009
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 48, Número 9, Pags. 1902-1912
Abstract: December-March climatologies of precipitation and vertically integrated water vapor transport were analyzed and compared to find the main paths by which moisture is fed to high-rainfall regions in the Southern Hemisphere in this season. The southern tropics (20°S-0°) exhibit high rainfall and receive ample moisture from the northern trades, except in the eastern Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans. This interhemispheric flow is particularly important for Amazonian rainfall, establishing the North Atlantic as the main source of moisture for the forest during its main rainy season. In the subtropics the rainfall distribution is very heterogeneous. The meridional average of precipitation between 358 and 258S is well modulated by the meridional water vapor transport through the 258S latitude circle, being greater where this transport is from the north and smaller where it is from the south. In South America, to the east of the Andes, the moisture that fuels precipitation between 20° and 30°S comes from both the tropical South and North Atlantic Oceans whereas between 30° and 40°S it comes mostly from the North Atlantic after passing over the Amazonian rain forest. The meridional transport (across 25°S) curve exhibits a double peak over South America and the adjacent Atlantic, which is closely reproduced in the mean rainfall curve. This corresponds to two local maxima in the two-dimensional field of meridional transport: the moisture corridor from Amazonia into the continental subtropics and the moisture flow coming from the southern tropical Atlantic into the subtropical portion of the South Atlantic convergence zone. These two narrow pathways of intense moisture flow could be suitably called "aerial rivers." Their longitudinal positions are well defined. The yearly deviations from climatology for moisture flow and rainfall correlate well (0.75) for the continental peak but not for the oceanic peak (0.23). The structure of two maxima is produced by the effect of transients in the time scale of days. © 2009 American Meteorological Society.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1175/2009JAMC2030.1
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