Introduction to Tropical Meteorology, 2nd Edition, Chapter 5: The Distribution of Moisture and Precipitation

Introduction to Tropical Meteorology, 2nd Edition, Chapter 5: The Distribution of Moisture and Precipitation

At the end of this chapter, you should understand and be able to describe:

  • Why water vapor is important to weather and climate in the tropics
  • The range and distribution of water vapor content in the tropics
  • The distribution of evaporation and evapotranspiration rates in the tropics
  • The formation of tropical clouds by convection
  • The general pattern of cloud distribution in the tropics
  • The typical profiles of potential temperature and equivalent potential temperature in the tropical atmosphere
  • How the Saharan Air Layer and other dry intrusions changes the vertical distribution of moisture thermodynamic energy
  • The concept of moist and dry static (thermodynamic) energy and its vertical distribution in the tropics
  • How the vertical distribution of moist static energy varies with different modes of convection
  • The differences between convective and stratiform rain in tropical mesoscale convective systems
  • The effects of continental and maritime aerosols on tropical precipitation
  • The geographic distribution of annual tropical precipitation and its variability
  • The factors that influence the geographic distribution of tropical precipitation
  • The seasonal distribution of precipitation in the tropics and unique regional patterns
  • The differences between the diurnal cycle of tropical precipitation over land and over ocean, including the influential factors
  • Unique characteristics of the diurnal cycle during the equatorial transition seasons (spring and autumn)
  • The factors that influence the amount and location of  rainfall on yearly and multi-year time scales

You should also be able to identify and describe:

  • The factors that influence evaporation and evapotranspiration rates
  • The dominant cloud types in the tropics
  • The typical zonal and meridional distribution of cloud depth over the tropical oceans