Mesoscale convective systems over the Amazon basin: The GoAmazon2014/5 program Journal Article uri icon



  • AbstractThe Green Ocean Amazon (GoAmazon2014/5) scientific program focused on the influence of aerosols and surface fluxes on tropical cloud formation. This major research effort gathered high‐quality environmental data over the central Amazon basin during 2014 and 2015. The present work is a contribution to the GoAmazon2014/5 investigations with an emphasis on the behaviour of the most important mechanism of precipitation over the tropics: mesoscale convective systems (MCSs). To provide a background, MCSs' tracks obtained from infrared satellite images over the entire Amazon basin in 2014–2015 are compared with climatological values. The number of MCSs and precipitation in the basin is about 50% lower than compared to the climatology for 2000–2013. We argue that the below average occurrence of MCSs during the GoAmazon2014/5 program can be explained, at least in part, by the effects of positive anomalies in sea surface temperature over the equatorial Pacific Ocean, negative moisture transport toward the Amazon basin, and by the anticyclonic phase of the mode of interannual and intraseasonal variability over South America. Special attention is given to the 99 MCSs that occurred over the GoAmazon2014/5 site. The impact of MCSs on the meteorological variables over the GoAmazon2014/5 sites is examined, and the contribution of MCSs to rainfall over that region is estimated to be about 70% of the total. Finally, the synoptic and thermodynamic conditions related to the MCSs' genesis and dissipation are discussed. It is suggested that in days with reduced MCS genesis over the GoAmazon2014/5 region, the ventilation over the continent by easterly winds from the relative cold South Atlantic Ocean favours convection at locations near the ocean as compared to those inland.

publication date

  • December 1, 2019

has restriction

  • bronze

Date in CU Experts

  • May 27, 2022 10:16 AM

Full Author List

  • Rehbein A; Ambrizzi T; Mechoso CR; Espinosa SAI; Myers TA

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0899-8418

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0088

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 5599

end page

  • 5618


  • 39


  • 15