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Idamis Del Valle was one of two CMMAP summer interns who came to us all the way from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez this year. She is a senior there majoring in theoretical physics with a minor in atmospheric science. This summer, under Professor Eric Maloney, Idamis studied the effects of enhanced moisture triggers on mean precipitation and winds in the Tropical Eastern Pacific and the Caribbean.

The ability of two climate model simulations to reproduce mean precipitation and winds in the Intra Americas Sea was compared using the NCAR CAM version 3.1 with the relaxed Arakawa-Schubert convective scheme. The two runs analyzed were defined as: "moisture trigger" and "no moisture trigger". A comparison of observations to model results for the boreal summer and boreal winter was made. Idamis found that results for the summer season showed that the moisture trigger run made precipitation weaker over the Caribbean, and reduced precipitation biases over the eastern Pacific and over land. Overall, higher moisture sensitivity resulted in a more accurate skill of the model to represent mean precipitation over the eastern Pacific and Caribbean. However, both model runs showed excessive precipitation over land at the base of the Sierra Madre, likely due to the coarse resolution of the model. Further, both simulations had a relatively poor representation of precipitation over the ITCZ in the eastern Pacific during the winter.

She found that compared to observations, the low-level wind was not well represented along the coastlines in the models, likely due to problems in representing topography. The winds became more westerly over the eastern Pacific associated with increased mean precipitation there in the moisture trigger run, and enhanced easterlies over the Caribbean were associated with a decrease of precipitation. Her research poster may be found here, (4MB PDF).

Idamis' research interests include tropical cyclones and tornadoes. Her hobbies include reading, music and watching movies.