Understanding the Dynamic Contribution to Future Changes in Tropical Precipitation From Low-Level Convergence Lines

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Future precipitation changes include contributions from both thermodynamic and dynamic processes. Given that precipitation in the tropics is commonly associated with convergence lines, we construct a simple linear regression model relating the convergence line frequency and strength to precipitation at subdaily time scales, and use it to show that changes in the convergence lines are related to the dynamic change in the precipitation. Given GCM-predicted convergence line changes, we predict precipitation changes using the regression model. The so-predicted precipitation change is equivalent to the dynamic component of the precipitation change identified in earlier studies that used very different methods. The difference between the precipitation change in GCMs and that predicted from changes in convergence lines accounts for thermodynamic and other potentially important dynamic contributions. More accurate predictions of future precipitation therefore require the accurate simulations of the relatively short-lived weather features responsible for convergence lines in the tropics in GCMs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2196-2203
Number of pages8
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • atmospheric dynamics
  • climate change
  • regional precipitation change

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