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Dependence of precipitation on precipitable water vapor over the Maritime Continent and implications to the Madden-Julian Oscillation
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  • Siyue Chen,
  • Nathanael Z. Wong,
  • Ding Ma,
  • Pak Wah Chan,
  • Zhiming Kuang
Siyue Chen
Peking University, Peking University

Corresponding Author:siyue_chen@fas.harvard.edu

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Nathanael Z. Wong
Harvard University, Harvard University
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Ding Ma
Columbia University, Columbia University
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Pak Wah Chan
Harvard University, Harvard University
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Zhiming Kuang
Harvard University, Harvard University
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The weakening of the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) as it propagates over the Maritime Continent (MC) is often referred to as the MC barrier. Here, we use 3-hourly precipitable water vapor (PWV) data obtained from the Sumatran GPS Array and the ERA5 reanalysis to investigate the role played by the column moisture over the MC. Over Sumatra and the whole MC, we find a stronger dependence of precipitation on PWV over the ocean as compared to both inland and coastal regions. The MJO modulates the PWV over the ocean and over the MC by roughly the same amount, and the weaker precipitation variations over the MC between the MJO phases may be interpreted in terms of its weaker dependence on PWV over the MC. This different precipitation dependence on column moisture between the MC and the ocean may contribute to the MC barrier effect.
08 Sep 2021Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 48 issue 17. 10.1029/2021GL094648