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Interactions between shallow and deep convection under a finite departure from convective quasi–equilibrium

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Yano, J.-I. and Plant, R. (2012) Interactions between shallow and deep convection under a finite departure from convective quasi–equilibrium. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. ISSN 1520-0469

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-12-0108.1

Abstract/Summary

The present paper presents a simple theory for the transformation of non-precipitating, shallow convection into precipitating, deep convective clouds. In order to make the pertinent point a much idealized system is considered, consisting only of shallow and deep convection without large–scale forcing. The transformation is described by an explicit coupling between these two types of convection. Shallow convection moistens and cools the atmosphere, whereas deep convection dries and warms, leading to destabilization and stabilization respectively. Consequently, in their own stand–alone modes, shallow convection perpetually grows, whereas deep convection simply damps: the former never reaches equilibrium, and the latter is never spontaneously generated. Coupling the modes together is the only way to reconcile these undesirable separate tendencies so that the convective system as a whole can remain in a stable periodic state under this idealized setting. Such coupling is a key missing element in current global atmospheric models. The energy–cycle description as originally formulated by Arakawa and Schubert, and presented herein is suitable for direct implementation into models using a mass–flux parameterization, and would alleviate the current problems with the representation of these two types of convection in numerical models. The present theory also provides a pertinent framework for analyzing large–eddy simulations and cloud–resolving modelling.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:28887
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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