Evolution, properties, and spatial variability of MJO convection near and offthe equator during DYNAMO Academic Article uri icon


  • 2015 American Meteorological Society. This study investigates the evolution, structure, and spatial variability of Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) convection observed during the 2011/12 Dynamics of the MJO (DYNAMO) field campaign. Generally, the C-band radars located in the near-equatorial Indian Ocean-Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching Radar (SMART-R) on Addu Atoll (Gan) and NASA TOGA on the R/V Roger Revelle (Revelle)-observed similar trends in echo-top heights, stratiform rain fraction, and precipitation feature size across the MJO life cycle. These trends are closely related to changes in mid- to upper-tropospheric moisture, sea surface temperature (SST), zonal wind, and diagnosed vertical air motions. However, the evolution of convection, moisture, and vertical air motion at the R/V Mirai (Mirai), located in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) at 8S, exhibited a pattern nearly opposite to Gan and Revelle. When the MJO was active over the equator, convection was suppressed around Mirai owing to induced subsidence by the strong upward motion to the north. SST and zonal winds near Mirai were nearly invariant across the MJO life cycle, indicating little influence from the MJO in these fields. Compared to Gan and Revelle, Mirai had a significant amount of precipitation that fell from shallow and isolated convection. There were subtle differences in the evolution and properties of the convection observed between Gan and Revelle. Deep convection occurred slightly earlier at Gan compared to Revelle, consistent with the west-to-east progression of the MJO in the central Indian Ocean. Furthermore, convective deepening was more gradual over Revelle compared to Gan, especially during the October MJO event.

published proceedings

  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences

altmetric score

  • 1.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, W., Rutledge, S. A., Schumacher, C., & Katsumata, M.

citation count

  • 20

publication date

  • January 2015