Flow, moisture, and thermodynamic variability associated with Gulf of California surges within the North American monsoon

Nicole J. Schiffer, Stephen W. Nesbitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study uses an improved surge identification method to examine composites of 29 yr of surface observations and reanalysis data alongside 10 yr of satellite precipitation data to reveal connections between flow, thermodynamic parameters, and precipitation, both within and outside of the North American monsoon (NAM) region, associated with Gulf of California (GoC) moisture surges. The North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR), examined using composites of flow during all detected moisture surges at Yuma, Arizona, and so-called wet and dry surges (those producing anomalously high and low precipitation, respectively, over Arizona and New Mexico), show markedly different flow and moisture patterns that ultimately lead to the differing observed precipitation distributions in the region. Wet surges tend to be associated with moister precursor air masses over the southwestern United States, have a larger contribution of enhanced easterly cross-Sierra Madre Occidental (SMO) moisture transport, and tend to result from a transient cyclonic disturbance tracking across northern Mexico. Dry surges tend to be associated with a more southerly tracking disturbance, are associated with less convection over the SMO, and tend to be associated with a drier presurge air mass over Arizona and New Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4220-4241
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Climate
Volume25
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Flow, moisture, and thermodynamic variability associated with Gulf of California surges within the North American monsoon'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this