Difference between Upshear- and Downshear-Propagating Waves Associated with the Development of Squall Lines

Hongpei Yang aSchool of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, and Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai, China
bGuangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China
cKey Laboratory of Tropical Atmosphere-Ocean System, Sun Yat-sen University, Ministry of Education, Zhuhai, China

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Yu Du aSchool of Atmospheric Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, and Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Zhuhai), Zhuhai, China
bGuangdong Province Key Laboratory for Climate Change and Natural Disaster Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, Zhuhai, China
cKey Laboratory of Tropical Atmosphere-Ocean System, Sun Yat-sen University, Ministry of Education, Zhuhai, China

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Abstract

During the development of squall lines, low-frequency gravity waves exhibit contrasting behaviors behind and ahead of the system, corresponding to its low-level upshear and downshear sides, respectively. This study employed idealized numerical simulations to investigate how low-level shear and tilted convective heating influence waves during two distinct stages of squall-line evolution. In the initial stage, low-level shear speeds up upshear waves, while it has contrasting effects on the amplitudes of different wave modes, distinguishing it from the Doppler effect. Downshear deep tropospheric downdraft (n = 1 wave) exhibits larger amplitudes, resulting in strengthened low-level inflow and upper-level outflow. However, n = 2 wave with low-level ascent and high-level descent has higher amplitude upshear and exhibits a higher altitude of peak w values downshear, leading to the development of a more extensive upshear low-level cloud deck and a higher altitude of downshear cloud deck. In the mature stage, as the convective updraft greatly tilts rearward (upshear), stronger n = 1 waves occur behind the system, while downshear-propagating n = 2 waves exhibit larger amplitudes. These varying wave behaviors subsequently contribute to the storm-relative circulation pattern. Ahead of the squall line, stronger n = 2 waves and weaker n = 1 waves produce intense outflow concentrated at higher altitudes, along with moderate midlevel inflow and weak low-level inflow. Conversely, behind the system, the remarkable high pressure in the upper troposphere and wake low are attributed to more intense n = 1 waves. Additionally, the cloud anvil features greater width and depth rearward and is situated at higher altitudes ahead of the system due to the joint effects of n = 1 and n = 2 waves.

Significance Statement

Squall lines are a significant source of high-impact weather events, and their development has been partially explained through linear wave dynamics. While the recurrent generation of waves during squall-line evolution has been found, the differentiation of wave behavior behind and ahead of the system, as well as its implications for storm circulation, has remained unclear. This study employs idealized simulations to reveal that during different stages of convection, low-level shear and the tilting of convective heating exert contrasting effects on wave behaviors. Moreover, various wave modes exhibit distinct responses to specific factors, and their combined effect elucidates the structural discrepancies observed both rearward and forward of the convective updraft. These findings could allow a step toward a better understanding of the intricate interaction between waves and convections.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Yu Du, duyu7@mail.sysu.edu.cn

Abstract

During the development of squall lines, low-frequency gravity waves exhibit contrasting behaviors behind and ahead of the system, corresponding to its low-level upshear and downshear sides, respectively. This study employed idealized numerical simulations to investigate how low-level shear and tilted convective heating influence waves during two distinct stages of squall-line evolution. In the initial stage, low-level shear speeds up upshear waves, while it has contrasting effects on the amplitudes of different wave modes, distinguishing it from the Doppler effect. Downshear deep tropospheric downdraft (n = 1 wave) exhibits larger amplitudes, resulting in strengthened low-level inflow and upper-level outflow. However, n = 2 wave with low-level ascent and high-level descent has higher amplitude upshear and exhibits a higher altitude of peak w values downshear, leading to the development of a more extensive upshear low-level cloud deck and a higher altitude of downshear cloud deck. In the mature stage, as the convective updraft greatly tilts rearward (upshear), stronger n = 1 waves occur behind the system, while downshear-propagating n = 2 waves exhibit larger amplitudes. These varying wave behaviors subsequently contribute to the storm-relative circulation pattern. Ahead of the squall line, stronger n = 2 waves and weaker n = 1 waves produce intense outflow concentrated at higher altitudes, along with moderate midlevel inflow and weak low-level inflow. Conversely, behind the system, the remarkable high pressure in the upper troposphere and wake low are attributed to more intense n = 1 waves. Additionally, the cloud anvil features greater width and depth rearward and is situated at higher altitudes ahead of the system due to the joint effects of n = 1 and n = 2 waves.

Significance Statement

Squall lines are a significant source of high-impact weather events, and their development has been partially explained through linear wave dynamics. While the recurrent generation of waves during squall-line evolution has been found, the differentiation of wave behavior behind and ahead of the system, as well as its implications for storm circulation, has remained unclear. This study employs idealized simulations to reveal that during different stages of convection, low-level shear and the tilting of convective heating exert contrasting effects on wave behaviors. Moreover, various wave modes exhibit distinct responses to specific factors, and their combined effect elucidates the structural discrepancies observed both rearward and forward of the convective updraft. These findings could allow a step toward a better understanding of the intricate interaction between waves and convections.

© 2024 American Meteorological Society. This published article is licensed under the terms of the default AMS reuse license. For information regarding reuse of this content and general copyright information, consult the AMS Copyright Policy (www.ametsoc.org/PUBSReuseLicenses).

Corresponding author: Yu Du, duyu7@mail.sysu.edu.cn
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