Thermodynamic analysis of convective events that occurred in Belém-PA city

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Ludmila Monteiro da Silva
Maria Aurora Santos da Mota


The Amazon Basin is dominated by convective rainfall with significant spatial and diurnal variability. Diurnal and seasonal distributions of convective events were determined from rainfall and Cloud Top Temperature (CTT) between January 2008 and December 2010 in city Belém-PA. The decis technique was used to select the most intense events (rainfall rate ≥ 15 mm h–1), which were subsequently, subclassified into deep convection events (DCE) and shallow convection events (SCE). Ninety four cases were found, mostly occurring between 12 and 19 LT, and 55% in the rainy season. Another set of DCE and SCE with rainfall rate ≥ 1 mm h–1 was selected to analyze the effect of seasonality. Of these, 42 cases were found also between 12 and 19 LT, with a maximum at 16 LT. Temperature profiles differed between the rainy and less rainy seasons, in the intensification of shallow and deep convection. Moisture profiles showed greater variability between 850 and 500 hPa, indicative of their role in convective activity; during the rainy season the atmosphere was more humid (less humid) before (at the time) of the occurrence of DCE. Wind components showed significant shear between surface and ~850 hPa, with stronger zonal component in the cases of DCE. The highest values of CAPE were observed about 2 to 3 hours before DCE and SCE, with maximum values before DCE in the rainy season. Results presented here are relevant to improve short-term forecasts and convective event simulations with numerical weather and climate models.


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