BOX 1-2

The Original Seven Priority Science Questions to be Addressed by TRMM

  1. What is the four-dimensional structure of latent heating in the tropical atmosphere? How does it vary diurnally, intraseasonally, seasonally, and annually?

  2. What is the role of latent heat released in the tropics in both tropical and extratropical circulation?

  3. What is the monthly average rainfall over tropical ocean areas of about 105 km2 and how does this rain and its variability affect the structure and circulation of the tropical oceans?

  4. What is the relationship between precipitation and changes in boundary conditions at Earth’s surface (e.g., sea surface temperature, soil properties, vegetation)?

  5. What is the diurnal cycle of tropical rainfall and how does it vary in space?

  6. What are the relative contributions of convective and stratiform precipitation and how does it vary in space?

  7. How can improved documentation of rainfall improve understanding of the hydrological cycle in the tropics?

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