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Radiosounding-derived convective parameters for the Alcântara Launch Center

Author(s): Fernando Pereira de Oliveira | Marcos Daisuke Oyama

Journal: Journal of Aerospace Technology and Management
ISSN 1984-9648

Volume: 1;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 211;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Storms | Tropical regions | Clouds | Climatology

Climatological features of convective parameters (K index, IK; 950 hPa K index, IK950; Showalter index, IS; lifted index, ILEV; total totals index, ITT; and convective available potential energy, CAPE) derived from 12 UTC radiosounding data collected at the Alcântara Launch Center (CLA; 2°18’S, 44º22’W) from 1989 to 2008 were computed. The parameters IK, IK950, IS and ITT (ILEV and CAPE) showed a seasonal variation coherent (not coherent) to the annual cycle of precipitation. Interdaily variability was high all year round and was comparable to the monthly average seasonal variation. For IK and IK950, the monthly fraction of days with favorable conditions for precipitation occurrence (FRAC) showed good agreement with the monthly fraction of days with precipitation greater than 0.1 mm (PRP). For ITT and IS, the seasonal variation of FRAC was lower than the seasonal variation of PRP; for ILEV and CAPE, there were marked differences between FRAC and PRP. IK seasonal variation was primarily due to the presence of a deeper (shallower) low-level moist layer in the wet (dry) season. Among the studied convective parameters, the use of IK or IK950 for assessing precipitation occurrence was recommended.
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