Effects of Mechanical and Thermal Forcing on the Enhancement and Ingredients of Orographic Rain Associated with the 2007-08 Madden-Julian Oscillation Passing the New Guinea Highlands

  •  Justin G. Riley    
  •  Yuh-Lang Lin    


In this study, the Advanced Research Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model was adopted to investigate the mechanical and thermal forcing effects associated with the New Guinea Highland (NGH) on Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) propagation and rainfall formation and enhancement mechanisms over the island of New Guinea. Our results show that both forces affect the propagation of the MJO07-08, resulting in orographic rainfall production. Even though each forcing helps produce orographic rainfall, the mechanical forcing of the NGH plays a much larger role in the orographic blocking than the thermal forcing. We also found two flow regimes associated with the propagation of MJO07-08 over the NGH. First, in the flow-around regime, the MJO and its associated convective system split around the NGH due to the strong orographic blocking. We can observe this splitting when looking at the splitting stage. Second, the flow-over regime could occur when the mountain is lower than its original height or the flow has a smaller Froude number. A series of numerical experiments indicate that the maximum orographic rainfall increases with increased mountain height; however, the maximum orographic rain decreases when the flow transitions to the flow-around regime. Finally, some common ingredients for orographic rainfall associated with the MJO07-08 passing over the NGH are consistent with those found for tropical cyclones passing over mountains.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-0542
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-0550
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: semiannual

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