Spatial and temporal distribution of latent heating in the South Asian monsoon region
Zuluaga-Arias, Manuel D.
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Information from the TRMM-CSH and TRMM-2A12 datasets is used to examine the four-dimensional latent heating (LH) structures over the Asian monsoon region between 1998 and 2006. High sea surface temperatures, ocean-land contrasts and complex terrain produce large precipitation and atmospheric heating rates whose spatial and temporal characteristics are relatively undocumented. Analyses identify interannual and intraseasonal LH variations, with a large fraction of the interannual variability induced by internal intraseasonal variability. Also, the analyses identify a spatial dipole of LH anomalies between the equatorial Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal regions occurring during the summer active and suppressed phases of the monsoon intraseasonal oscillation. Comparisons made between the TRMM-CSH and TRMM-2A12 datasets indicate significant differences in the shape of the vertical profile of LH. Comparison of TRMM-LH retrievals with sounding budget observations made during the South China Sea Monsoon experiment shows a high correspondence in the timing of positive LH episodes during rainy periods. Negative values of LH, associated with radiative cooling and with higher troposphere cooling from non-precipitating clouds, are not captured by any of the TRMM datasets. In summary, LH algorithms based on satellite information are capable of representing the spatial and temporal characteristics of the vertically integrated heating in the Asian monsoon region. The TRMM-CSH presents better performance than TRMM-2A12. However, the vertical distribution of atmospheric heating is not captured accurately throughout all different convective phases. It is suggested that satellite derived radiative heating/cooling products are needed to supplement the LH products in order to give an overall better depiction of atmospheric heating.