I have this satellite derived sounding(T-phi gram) of a mountainous area and from what little I can make out it appears that probability of precipitation is almost negligible. Let us assume my model output for the same time predicted the rainfall event accurately that happened at the given time and TRMM satellite data was able to pick up the rainfall event as well. Is there something in the sounding diagram that I have displayed that can pick up the rainfall event as being likely? I for one cannot make it out as CAPE is zero and CIN is greater than 200. I obviously have a follow up question - accuracy of satellite derived soundings in mountainous areas but that is for later.

Satellite derived sounding

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It is a good sign if the lower atmosphere is saturated. Cape and Cin are indicators of forcing convection, but rain could already occur. $\endgroup$
    – Communisty
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 13:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Communisty - You can go ahead and write your answer. I will accept. $\endgroup$
    – user1066
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ If you wish so, I was hesitant because I don't really have much to say about this. $\endgroup$
    – Communisty
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 11:11
  • $\begingroup$ I'm glad I could help. $\endgroup$
    – Communisty
    Commented Aug 4, 2017 at 11:21

1 Answer 1


As already commented; a good indicator for rain in soundings is that the lower troposphere is saturated by water. Individual saturated levels would imply moisture, but if the moisture doesn't reach the surface then it maybe just clouds or rain that evaporates before reaching surface (virga). The deeper the saturated layer, the better indicator for rain it is. The dew point and ambient temperature doesn't necessarily have to be exactly the same, but very close to each others.

You pointed out cin and cape, but they are really just indicators for forcing convection and aren't necessarily present when it already rains.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.