Kelvin waves during GOAmazon and their relationship to deep convection

Yolande L. Serra, Angela Rowe, David K. Adams, George N. Kiladis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The 2014–15 Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon (GOAmazon) field campaign over the central Amazon near Manaus, Brazil, occurred in coordination with the larger Cloud Processes of the Main Precipitation Systems in Brazil: A Contribution to Cloud-Resolving Modeling and to the Global Precipitation Measurement (CHUVA) project across Brazil. These programs provide observations of convection over the central Amazon on diurnal to annual time scales. In this study, we address the question of how Kelvin waves, observed in satellite observations of deep cloud cover over the GOAmazon region during the 2014–15 time period, modulate the growth, type, and organization of convection over the central Amazon. The answer to this question has implications for improved predictability of organized systems over the region and representation of convection and its growth on local to synoptic scales in global models. Our results demonstrate that Kelvin waves are strong modulators of synoptic-scale low- to midlevel free-tropospheric moisture, integrated moisture convergence, and surface heat fluxes. These regional modifications of the environment impact the local diurnal cycle of convection, favoring the development of mesoscale convective systems. As a result, localized rainfall is also strongly modulated, with the majority of rainfall in the GOAmazon region occurring during the passage of these systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3533-3550
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 5 2020


  • Amazon region
  • Convective-scale processes
  • Intraseasonal variability
  • Mesoscale processes
  • Tropical variability
  • Water vapor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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