The Structure and Energetics of Amazon Squall Lines
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH
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The role of the Amazon Basin as a global center of action for deep convection is quantified in the context of the planets heat balance. Mesoscale heat and moisture budgets are presented for three synoptic-scale coastal originating systems COS over the Amazon Basin during the 1987 wet season. The budgets are obtained from volumetric analyses of mesoscale rawinsonde data from the April-May 1987 Amazon Boundary Layer Experiment ABLE-2B. Classification of cloud and rainfall components is based on data from Portable Automated Mesonet PAM towers, GOES images, and radar. Satellite measurements of the total active cloud area, coupled with the mesoscale budget calculations, are used to determine the system-wide vertical transport of heat as a function of the COS life cycle. Maximum heat transport occurs in the COS mature stage when the system has its maximum spatial extent. The instantaneous heat transport for the 300-100 mb layer in a mature COS equals nearly 20 of the theoretical heat export requirement for the equatorial trough zone. A little more than half of the system-wide transport occurs in the dynamically active anvil cloud.