The Momentum Budget and Temporal Evolution of a Mesoscale Convective System

Frederick Sanders Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139

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Kerry A. Emanuel Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139

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Abstract

The momentum budget and temporal evolution of a convective mesosystem, originally investigated by Sanders and Paine (1975), are examined. It is found that 1) alternative analyses of the data do not substantially change the conclusions reached in the previous paper, 2) stresses due to cumulus-scale eddies produce forces which are as large as the horizontal pressure-gradient force, in the direction normal to the storm line, and 3) liquid water aloft must be taken into account in the hydrostatic computation of the pressure field. The mesoscale circulation increases substantially during the 4 h observation period, suggesting a time evolution which may be characteristic of this type of convective system.

Abstract

The momentum budget and temporal evolution of a convective mesosystem, originally investigated by Sanders and Paine (1975), are examined. It is found that 1) alternative analyses of the data do not substantially change the conclusions reached in the previous paper, 2) stresses due to cumulus-scale eddies produce forces which are as large as the horizontal pressure-gradient force, in the direction normal to the storm line, and 3) liquid water aloft must be taken into account in the hydrostatic computation of the pressure field. The mesoscale circulation increases substantially during the 4 h observation period, suggesting a time evolution which may be characteristic of this type of convective system.

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