2017 Volume 13 Pages 36-40
This study examined the impact of an active phase of the Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) on a torrential rain event that occurred on the western coast of Sumatra Island on 12 December 2015, using surface meteorological observations, meteorological radar observations, and balloon sounding data obtained from the pre-Years of the Maritime Continent field campaign. Strong MJO activity took place in mid-December 2015 into January 2016. Radar observations revealed that a convergence and convective cloud merger of mesoscale convective systems from an eastward propagating MJO and westward moving diurnal convection over the western coast of the island was the immediate cause of the torrential rain. An investigation of the occurrence of convection over the island showed that both westward moving diurnal convection from the mountains and eastward propagating convection from the Indian Ocean occurred on 12 December, because the westerly winds in the lower troposphere associated with the MJO were only just initiated and were weak on the day. The results suggest that the leading edge of the MJO westerly wind bursts provided favorable conditions for an active phase of the MJO to work with the westward moving diurnal convection and cause torrential rain on the western coast of Sumatra Island.