Wind Speed, Surface Flux, and Intraseasonal Convection Coupling From CYGNSS Data

Hien X. Bui, Eric D. Maloney, Emily M. Riley Dellaripa, Bohar Singh

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12 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzes wind speed and surface latent heat flux anomalies from the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), aiming to understand the physical mechanisms regulating intraseasonal convection, particularly associated with the Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO). An advantage of CYGNSS compared to other space-based data sets is that its surface wind speed retrievals have reduced attenuation by precipitation, thus providing improved information about the importance of wind-induced surface fluxes for the maintenance of convection. Consistent with previous studies from buoys, CYGNSS shows that enhanced MJO precipitation is associated with enhanced wind speeds, and that associated surface heat flux anomalies have a magnitude about 7–12% of precipitation anomalies. Thus, latent heat flux anomalies are an important maintenance mechanism for MJO convection through the column moist static energy budget. A composite analysis during boreal summer over the eastern north Pacific also supports the idea that wind-induced surface flux is important for MJO maintenance there.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020GL090376
Number of pages11
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes

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