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Title: Environment and the Lifetime of Tropical Deep Convection in a Cloud-Permitting Regional Model Simulation

By applying a cloud tracking algorithm to tropical convective systems simulated by a regional high resolution model, the study documents environmental conditions before and after convective systems are initiated over ocean and land by following them during their lifetime. The comparative roles of various environmental fields in affecting the lifetime of convection are also quantified. The statistics of lifetime, maximum area, propagation speed and direction of the simulated deep convection agrees well with geostationary satellite observations. Over ocean, convective systems enhance surface fluxes through the associated wind gusts as well as cooling and drying of the boundary layer. A significant relationship is found between the mean surface fluxes during their lifetime and the longevity of the systems which in turn is related to the initial intensity of the moist updraft and to a lesser extent upper level shear. Over land, on the other hand, convective activity suppresses surface fluxes through cloud cover and the lifetime of convection is related to the upper level shear during their lifetime and strength of the heat fluxes several hours before the initiation of convection. For systems of equal lifetime, those over land are significantly more intense than those over ocean especially during early stagesmore » of their lifetime.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 70(8):2409–2425
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
environment; lifetime; tropical; deep; convection; high; resolution; regional