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The impact of the diurnal cycle on the MJO over the Maritime Continent: a modeling study assimilating TRMM rain rate into global analysis

Abstract

In the present study, we use modeling experiments to investigate the impact of the diurnal cycle on the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) during the Australian summer. Physical initialization and a nudging technique enable us to assimilate the observed Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) rain rate and atmospheric variables from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction—National Center for Atmospheric Research Reanalysis 2 (R2) into the Florida State University Global Spectral Model (FSUGSM), resulting in a realistic simulation of the MJO. Model precipitation is also significantly improved by TRMM rain rate observation via the physical initialization. We assess the influence of the diurnal cycle on the MJO by modifying the diurnal component during the model integration. Model variables are nudged toward the daily averaged values from R2. Globally suppressing the diurnal cycle (NO_DIURNAL) exerts a strong impact on the Maritime Continent. The mean state of precipitation increases and intraseasonal variability becomes stronger over the region. It is well known that MJO weakens as it passes over the Maritime Continent. However, the MJO maintains its strength in the NO_DIURNAL experiment, and the diminution of diurnal signals during the integration does not change the propagating speed of the MJO. We suggest that diminishing the diurnal cycle in NO_DIURNAL consumes less moist static energy (MSE), which is required to trigger both diurnal and intraseasonal convection. Thus, the remaining MSE may play a major role along with larger convective instability and stronger lower level moisture convergence in intensifying the MJO over the Maritime Continent in the model simulation.

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Acknowledgments

This work was funded by the Korea Meteorological Administration Research and Development Program under Grant CATER 2012-3061 (PN12010). We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments and, epecially Dr. Y. Ham, Dr. J. Lu, and Dr. S. Cocke for their helpful guidance.

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Correspondence to Gyu-Ho Lim.

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Oh, JH., Kim, BM., Kim, KY. et al. The impact of the diurnal cycle on the MJO over the Maritime Continent: a modeling study assimilating TRMM rain rate into global analysis. Clim Dyn 40, 893–911 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-012-1419-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00382-012-1419-8

Keywords

  • Diurnal Cycle
  • Tropical Rainfall Measure Mission
  • Rain Rate
  • Convective Instability
  • Moisture Convergence