Moisture origin and transport processes in Colombia, northern South America

I. Hoyos, Francina Dominguez, J. Cañón-Barriga, J. A. Martínez, R. Nieto, L. Gimeno, P. A. Dirmeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


We assess the spatial structure of moisture flux divergence, regional moisture sources and transport processes over Colombia, in northern South America. Using three independent methods the dynamic recycling model (DRM), FLEXPART and the Quasi-isentropic back-trajectory (QIBT) models we quantify the moisture sources that contribute to precipitation over the region. We find that moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and terrestrial recycling are the most important sources of moisture for Colombia, highlighting the importance of the Orinoco and Amazon basins as regional providers of atmospheric moisture. The results show the influence of long-range cross-equatorial flow from the Atlantic Ocean into the target region and the role of the study area as a passage of moisture into South America. We also describe the seasonal moisture transport mechanisms of the well-known low-level westerly and Caribbean jets that originate in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, respectively. We find that these dynamical systems play an important role in the convergence of moisture over western Colombia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalClimate Dynamics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Apr 9 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Atmospheric moisture transport processes
  • Colombian climate and variability
  • Oceanic moisture source
  • Recycling and terrestrial moisture sources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

Cite this

Hoyos, I., Dominguez, F., Cañón-Barriga, J., Martínez, J. A., Nieto, R., Gimeno, L., & Dirmeyer, P. A. (Accepted/In press). Moisture origin and transport processes in Colombia, northern South America. Climate Dynamics, 1-20.