Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 3975-4025, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Water vapor budget associated to overshoots in the tropical stratosphere: mesoscale modelling study of 4–5 August 2006 during SCOUT-AMMA
X. M. Liu1, E. D. Rivière1, V. Marécal2, G. Durry1, A. Hamdouni1, J. Arteta2,*, and S. Khaykin3
1Groupe de Spectrométrie moléculaire et Atmosphérique (GSMA), Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne (URCA) and CNRS, UMR6089, Reims, France
2Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace (LPC2E), CNRS and Université d'Orléans, France
3Central Aerological Observatory of Roshydromet 3, Pervomayskaya str. Dolgoprudny, Moscow region 141700, Russian Federation, Russia
*now at: Centre National de Recherche Météorologique (CNRM), Météo-France and CNRS, Toulouse, France

Abstract. The aim of this paper is to study the impacts of overshooting convection at a local scale on the water distribution in the tropical UTLS. Overshooting convection is likely to be one of the key processes controlling the entry of water vapour amount in the stratosphere by injecting ice crystals above the tropopause which later sublimate and hydrate the lower stratosphere. For this purpose, we quantify the individual impact of two overshooting cases in Africa observed during SCOUT-AMMA: the case of 4 August 2006 over Southern Chad which is likely to have influenced the water vapour measurements by micro-SDLA and FLASH-B from Niamey on 5 August, and the case of a mesoscale convective system over Aϊr on 5 August 2006. We make use of high resolution (down to 1 km horizontally) three nested grid simulations with the three-dimensional regional atmospheric model BRAMS (Brazilian Regional Atmospheric Modelling System). In both cases, BRAMS succeeds in simulating the main features of the convective activity, as well as overshooting convection, thought the exact position and time of the overshoots indicated by MSG brightness temperature difference is not fully reproduced (typically 1° in latitude compared with the overshoots indicated by brightness temperature difference from satellite observations for both cases, and several hours shift the Aϊr case on 5 August 2006). Total water budgets associated with these two events show a significant injection of ice particles above the tropopause with maximum values of about 3.7 ton s−1 for the Chad case (4 August) and 1.4 ton s−1 for the Aϊr case (5 August), and a total cross tropopause transport of about 3300 ton h−1 for the Chad case and 2400 ton h−1 for the Aϊr case in the third domain of simulation. The order of magnitude of these modelled fluxes is lower but comparable with similar studies in other tropical areas based on models. These two estimations exhibit significant differences and highlight variability among the cases of the impact of overshooting convection in hydrating the lower stratosphere. We show that the regional enhancement of water above the tropopause is between 0.21 to 0.67 ppmv between 380 K and 400 K, in the range of other model estimations. Finally we emphasize that as long as the model resolution is high, the hydrated area in the LS by overshooting convection can be advected relatively far away from the overshoot initial location, with locally mixing ratios of more than 3 ppmv higher than the background level, which is compatible with the balloon borne measurements performed above Niamey in the same air mass, 30 h after the overshoot. However, in the model, when exiting the highest resolution grid, the hydrating signal is lost rapidly.

Citation: Liu, X. M., Rivière, E. D., Marécal, V., Durry, G., Hamdouni, A., Arteta, J., and Khaykin, S.: Water vapor budget associated to overshoots in the tropical stratosphere: mesoscale modelling study of 4–5 August 2006 during SCOUT-AMMA, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 3975-4025, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-3975-2010, 2010.
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