Moisture origin and transport processes in Colombia, northern South America

  • I. Hoyos
  • F. Dominguez
  • J. Cañón-Barriga
  • J. A. Martínez
  • R. Nieto
  • L. Gimeno
  • P. A. Dirmeyer
Article

Abstract

We assess the spatial structure of moisture flux divergence, regional moisture sources and transport processes over Colombia, in northern South America. Using three independent methods the dynamic recycling model (DRM), FLEXPART and the Quasi-isentropic back-trajectory (QIBT) models we quantify the moisture sources that contribute to precipitation over the region. We find that moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and terrestrial recycling are the most important sources of moisture for Colombia, highlighting the importance of the Orinoco and Amazon basins as regional providers of atmospheric moisture. The results show the influence of long-range cross-equatorial flow from the Atlantic Ocean into the target region and the role of the study area as a passage of moisture into South America. We also describe the seasonal moisture transport mechanisms of the well-known low-level westerly and Caribbean jets that originate in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, respectively. We find that these dynamical systems play an important role in the convergence of moisture over western Colombia.

Keywords

Colombian climate and variability Atmospheric moisture transport processes Recycling and terrestrial moisture sources Oceanic moisture source 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Ingeniería, Grupo GAIAUniversidad de Antioquia, SIU/UdeAMedellínColombia
  2. 2.Instituto de Física, Grupo de Fundamentos y Enseñanza de la Física y los Sistemas DinámicosUniversidad de AntioquiaMedellínColombia
  3. 3.Department of Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA
  4. 4.Department of Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  5. 5.EPhysLab (Environmental Physics Laboratory)Facultade de Ciencias Universidade de VigoOurenseSpain
  6. 6.Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric SciencesUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  7. 7.Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere StudiesGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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