Water vapor and surface observations in northwestern Mexico during the 2004 NAME Enhanced Observing Period

E. R. Kursinski, Richard A Bennett, D. Gochis, Seth I. Gutman, Kirk L. Holub, R. Mastaler, C. Minjarez Sosa, I. Minjarez Sosa, T. van Hove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We report on precipitable water vapor (PWV) from a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver and surface meteorological network during the 2004 North American Monsoon Experiment (NAME) in northwestern Mexico. The monsoon onset is evident as a large PWV increase over several days beginning July 1. Data in the Sierra Madre Occidental (SMO) foothills reveal a dynamical transition in mid-August from smaller, sub-synoptic scale to larger, synoptic scale moisture structure. During the Sub-synoptic phase in the SMO foothills, a positive feedback operates where near-daily precipitation supplied moisture maintains 15% higher surface mixing ratios that lower the lifting condensation level facilitating initiation of moist convection. Along the western edge of the SMO, precipitation typically occurs hours after the local temperature maximum, triggered by westward propagating convective disturbances. Precipitation is typically preceded by a rapid rise in PWV and sharp decrease in surface temperature, implying models must include moist convective downdrafts in the NAM area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL03815
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume35
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 16 2008

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precipitable water
monsoons
Mexico
water vapor
monsoon
moisture
positive feedback
experiment
Global Positioning System
mixing ratios
mixing ratio
surface temperature
condensation
convection
disturbances
GPS
receivers
disturbance
temperature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Water vapor and surface observations in northwestern Mexico during the 2004 NAME Enhanced Observing Period. / Kursinski, E. R.; Bennett, Richard A; Gochis, D.; Gutman, Seth I.; Holub, Kirk L.; Mastaler, R.; Minjarez Sosa, C.; Minjarez Sosa, I.; van Hove, T.

In: Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, No. 3, L03815, 16.02.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Kursinski, ER, Bennett, RA, Gochis, D, Gutman, SI, Holub, KL, Mastaler, R, Minjarez Sosa, C, Minjarez Sosa, I & van Hove, T 2008, 'Water vapor and surface observations in northwestern Mexico during the 2004 NAME Enhanced Observing Period', Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 35, no. 3, L03815. https://doi.org/10.1029/2007GL031404
Kursinski, E. R. ; Bennett, Richard A ; Gochis, D. ; Gutman, Seth I. ; Holub, Kirk L. ; Mastaler, R. ; Minjarez Sosa, C. ; Minjarez Sosa, I. ; van Hove, T. / Water vapor and surface observations in northwestern Mexico during the 2004 NAME Enhanced Observing Period. In: Geophysical Research Letters. 2008 ; Vol. 35, No. 3.
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