Ariana Marrero joined us this summer from the University of Puerto Rico in
Mayaguez. With advisor Professor Eric Maloney, she did a climate modeling study
of variability about the seasonal cycle in the tropical eastern pacific and Caribbean Sea.
She used two different model runs of the NCAR CAM3/RAS to compare variability in
the Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) and the Caribbean Sea. The model was run
with different precipitation sensitivities to free tropospheric humidity.
Ariana then compared the climate model runs to daily 850 hPa observational data
from NCEP/NCAR reanalysis for the years 1998-2006, and TRMM 3B42 data for the
same period. The analysis concentrated on boreal summer (June-October), when
mean precipitation and precipitation variability in this region is strongest.
An analysis that compares the boreal summer to the all-season mean demonstrates
the increased precipitation activity in this region during the summer months as
compared to the annual cycle.
She found that a simulation with implementation of a moisture trigger that
increases sensitivity of precipitation to free tropospheric humidity creates
stronger precipitation and wind variance across the east Pacific as compared to
the control simulation, and also a better variance distribution compared to
Representing adequate sensitivity of climate model precipitation
to tropospheric moisture is critical because in nature, entraining convective
elements may lose buoyancy and achieve lower heights in the presence of dry
atmospheres. Deep convection is only supported in the presence of moist
atmospheres, especially in regions of appropriate uplift.
Her study also showed that substantial model biases remain even with the
moisture trigger employed, including excessive variance over southern Mexico,
which may be contributed by the coarse representation of North and Central
American topography. Ariana's research poster is here,
Climate modeling Study of
Variability about the Seasonal Cycle in the Tropical Eastern Pacific and the
Caribbean Sea, 1MB PDF.
Ariana's research interests include tropical meteorology, studying huricanes and radar meteorology.
Outside of her studies, she enjoys volleyball, gym, watching TV and spending
time with family and friends.