Precipitating convection in cold air: virtual potential temperature structure
Grant, A.L.M. (2007) Precipitating convection in cold air: virtual potential temperature structure. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 133 (622). pp. 25-36. ISSN 1477-870X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/qj29
Simulations of precipitating convection are used to illustrate the importance of the turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) budget in determining the virtual potential-temperature structure of the convecting atmosphere. Two sets of simulations are presented: in one the surface temperature was increased to simulate cold air flowing over a warmer surface and in the second a cooling profile, representing cold-air advection, was imposed. It is shown that the terms in the TKE budgets for both sets of simulations scale in the same way, but that the non-dimensional profiles are different. It is suggested that this is associated with the effects of sublimation of ice. It is shown that the magnitudes of the transport and precipitation terms in the virtual potential temperature budget are determined by the scaling of the TKE budget. Some implications of these results for parametrizations of moist convection are discussed. Copyright © 2007 Royal Meteorological Society