Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 15,015 items for :

  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All
Chin-Hsuan Peng
and
Xingchao Chen

Abstract

Previous observational studies have indicated that mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) contribute the majority of precipitation over the Bay of Bengal (BoB) during the summer monsoon season, yet their initiation and propagation remain incompletely understood. To fill this knowledge gap, we conducted a comprehensive study using a combination of 20-year satellite observations, MCS tracking, reanalysis data, and a theoretical linear model. Satellite observations reveal clear diurnal propagation signals of MCS initiation frequency and rainfall from the west coast of the BoB toward the central BoB, with the MCS rainfall propagating slightly slower than the MCS initiation frequency. Global reanalysis data indicates a strong association between the offshore-propagating MCS initiation frequency/rainfall and diurnal low-level wind perturbations, implying the potential role of gravity waves. To verify the hypothesis, we developed a 2-D linear model that can be driven by realistic meteorological fields from reanalysis. The linear model realistically reproduces the characteristics of offshore-propagating diurnal wind perturbations. The wind perturbations, as well as the offshore propagation signals of MCS initiation frequency and rainfall, are associated with diurnal gravity waves emitted from the coastal regions, which in turn are caused by the diurnal land-sea thermal contrast. The ambient wind speed and vertical wind shear play crucial roles in modulating the timing, propagation, and amplitude of diurnal gravity waves. Using the linear model and satellite observations, we further show that the stronger monsoonal flows lead to faster offshore propagation of diurnal gravity waves, which subsequently control the offshore propagation signals of MCS initiation and rainfall.

Restricted access
Emmanuel Dormy
,
Ludivine Oruba
, and
Kerry Emanuel

Abstract

We investigate the mechanism for eye formation in hurricane-like vortices, using a formulation adapted from Oruba et al. (2017). Numerical simulations are performed using an axisymmetric model of dry rotating Rayleigh-Bénard convection under the Boussinesq approximation. The fluxes of heat and momentum at the sea surface are described using the bulk aerodynamic formula. A simplified model for radiative cooling is also implemented. We find that the mechanism for eye formation introduced in Oruba et al. (2017), relying on vorticity stripping from the boundary layer, is robust in dry hurricane-like vortices. Furthermore, with these boundary conditions the structure of the flow is closer to the flow of actual tropical cyclones. The applicability of this mechanism to the moist case however remains uncertain and deserves further study. Finally, energy budgets, obtained either by a heat engine approach, or by a direct estimation of the work of buoyancy forces, are investigated. They provide estimations of the surface wind speed as a function of the controlling parameters.

Restricted access
Chibueze N. Oguejiofor
,
George H. Bryan
,
Richard Rotunno
,
Peter P. Sullivan
, and
David H. Richter

Abstract

Improved representation of turbulent processes in numerical models of tropical cyclones (TCs) is expected to improve intensity forecasts. To this end, the authors use a large-eddy simulation (with 31-m horizontal grid spacing) of an idealized Category 5 TC to understand the role of turbulent processes in the inner core of TCs and their role on the mean intensity. Azimuthally and temporally averaged budgets of the momentum fields show that TC turbulence acts to weaken the maximum tangential velocity, diminish the strength of radial inflow into the eye, and suppress the magnitude of the mean eyewall updraft. Turbulent flux divergences in both the vertical and radial directions are shown to influence the TC mean wind field, with the vertical being dominant in most of the inflowing boundary layer and the eyewall (analogous to traditional atmospheric boundary layer flows), while the radial becomes important only in the eyewall. The validity of the down-gradient eddy viscosity hypothesis is largely confirmed for mean velocity fields, except in narrow regions which generally correspond to weak gradients of the mean fields, as well as a narrow region in the eye. This study also provides guidance for values of effective eddy viscosities and vertical mixing length in the most turbulent regions of intense TCs, which have rarely been measured observationally. A generalized formulation of effective eddy viscosity (including the Reynolds normal stresses) is presented.

Restricted access
Lydia Tierney
and
Dale Durran

Abstract

Heavy precipitation in midlatitude mountain ranges is largely driven by the episodic passage of weather systems. Previous studies have shown a high correlation between the integrated vapor transport (IVT) in the airstream striking a mountain and the precipitation rate. Using data collected during the OLYMPEX project from a pair of sounding stations and a dense precipitation network, we further document the tight relation between IVT and precipitation rate, and obtain results consistent with earlier work. We also survey previous studies that simulated orographic precipitation forced by unidirectional shear flows. Some of these simulations were performed using models that produce reasonably accurate rainfall totals in nested simulations of actual events driven by large-scale flows. Nevertheless, the increase in precipitation with IVT in all the simulations with unidirectional upstream flows is far lower than what would be expected based on the observationally derived correlation between IVT and precipitation rate. As a first step toward explaining this discrepancy, we conduct idealized simulations of a mid-latitude cyclone striking a north-south ridge. The relationship between IVT and rainfall rate in this “Cyc+Mtn” simulation matches that which would be expected from observations. In contrast, when the conditions upstream of the ridge in the Cyc+Mtn case were used as upstream forcing in a horizontally uniform unidirectional flow with the same IVT over the same mountain ridge, far less precipitation was produced. These idealized simulations will, therefore, be used to study the discrepancy in rainfall between simulations driven by unidirectional shear flows and observations in a companion paper.

Restricted access
Lydia Tierney
and
Dale Durran

Abstract

Warm-sector orographic precipitation in a mid-latitude cyclone encountering a ridge is simulated in a “Cyc+Mtn” experiment. A second “Shear” simulation is conducted with horizontally uniform unidirectional flow over the same mountain having thermodynamic and cross-mountain wind profiles identical to those on the centerline in the “Cyc+Mtn” simulation. The relationship between integrated vapor transport (IVT) and orographic precipitation in the Mtn+Cyc case is consistent with observations, yet the same IVT in the Shear simulation produces far less precipitation. The difference between the precipitation rates in the Cyc+Mtn and Shear cases is traced to differences in the cross-mountain moisture-flux convergence and is further isolated to differences is the cross-mountain-velocity convergence over the windward slope. The winds at the ridge crest are stronger in the Shear case, leading to more velocity divergence and decreased moisture-flux convergence. The stronger ridge-crest winds in the Shear case are produced by a stronger mountain wave, which persists after being generated during the artificial startup of the Shear simulation. Initializing with a gradually ramped up unidirectional flow and integrating to a quasi-steady state fails to adequately capture the processes regulating the lee-side circulations. Even worse results are obtained if the shear flow is instantaneously accelerated from rest. An alternative microphysical explanation for the precipitation difference between the Cyc+Mtn and Shear simulations is examined using additional numerical experiments that enhance the seeder-feeder process. Although such enhancements increase precipitation, the increase is too small to account for the differences between the Cyc+Mtn and Shear simulations.

Restricted access
Dong-Pha Dang
and
Jia-Yuh Yu

Abstract

Solutions of tropical convection (vertical motion), including both the first (deep) and the second baroclinic (shallow) modes, subject to convective quasi-equilibrium (CQE) constraints are formulated. Under CQE assumption, tropical convection, ω(p, x, y), can be decomposed into a product of height-dependent variable, Ωi(p), and space-dependent variable, ∇ ⋅ v i(x, y), with the former constrained by conservation of moist static energy (MSE) or dry static energy (DSE) perturbations, depending on whether the atmospheric column is dominated by ascending or descending motions. We then evaluate the roles of deep and shallow modes of convection in transporting moisture and static energy against observations using the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts reanalysis data. The moisture transport by deep mode produces a spatial pattern similar to observations, except for an obvious underestimate of the magnitude over the eastern Pacific convergence zone (EPCZ) and cold tongue areas, where the contribution of shallow mode may account for up to 25% of the total moisture transport. In contrast, the MSE transport by deep mode exhibits a very poor performance, especially over the EPCZ where the observational MSE transport is negative but a positive value is predicted by deep mode. Including the contribution of shallow mode immediately remedies this deficiency, due to a better representation of the bottom-heavy structure of ascending motions over the EPCZ. These improvements apply to almost the entire tropics, although the correlation tends to decrease away from the convergence zones. Since simple atmospheric models often assume a single heating (forcing) profile to represent the effect of cumulus convection, the present study highlights the importance and feasibility of including both deep and shallow modes in a simple atmospheric model, while at the same time maintaining the simple model framework, to more accurately represent the moisture and MSE transports by convection in the tropics.

Restricted access
Tsung-Yung Lee
and
Allison A. Wing

Abstract

Recent modeling studies have suggested a potentially important role of cloud-radiative interactions in accelerating tropical cyclone (TC) development, but there has been only limited investigation of this in observations. Here, we investigate this by performing radiative transfer calculations based on cloud property retrievals from the CloudSat Tropical Cyclone (CSTC) dataset. We examine the radius–height structure of radiative heating anomalies, compute the resulting radiatively driven circulations, and use the moist static energy variance budget to compute radiative feedbacks. We find that inner-core midlevel ice water content and anomalous specific humidity increase with TC intensification rate, resulting in enhanced inner-core deep-layer longwave warming anomalies and shortwave cooling anomalies in rapidly intensifying TCs. This leads to a stronger radiatively driven deep in-up-and-out overturning circulation and inner-core radiative feedback in rapidly intensifying TCs. The longwave-driven circulation provides radially inward momentum fluxes and upward moisture fluxes, which benefit TC development, while the shortwave-driven circulation suppresses TC development. The longwave anomalies, which dominate the inner-core positive radiative feedback, are mainly generated from cloud-radiative interactions, with ice particles dominating the deep-layer circulation and liquid droplets and water vapor contributing to the shallow circulation. Moreover, the variability in ice water content, as opposed to the variability in liquid water content and the effective radii of ice particles and liquid droplets, dominates the uncertainty in TC-radiative interaction. These results provide observational evidence for the importance of cloud-radiative interactions in TC development and suggest that the amount and spatial structure of ice water content are critical for determining the strength of this interaction.

Significance Statement

The limited investigation of tropical cyclone (TC)-radiative interaction in observations impedes our understanding of TC development. This study aims to quantitatively show the spatial variation in radiation in TCs and their effect on TC development by using a set of satellite-based observations. We relate TC-radiative interaction to TC intensification and emphasize the inner-core features. Moreover, we quantitatively demonstrate the relative contribution from clouds, liquid droplets, ice particles, and water vapor to TC-radiative interaction as well as the source of the variation in radiative properties. These results provide an additional observational foundation for the importance of cloud-radiative interactions in TC development and support a quantitative validation for numerical modeling.

Restricted access
Jiahua Li
,
Xiaohua Xu
, and
Jia Luo

Abstract

In the present study, the tropical tropopause inversion layer (TIL) Kelvin waves are extracted from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) radio occultation (RO) temperature data of multiple missions from January 2007 to December 2020. We focus on the variations of TIL Kelvin waves in two longitude regions, the Maritime Continent (MC; 90°–150°E) and the Pacific Ocean (PO; 170°–230°E). The results show that over both regions, ENSO leads to the opposite variations of TIL Kelvin wave temperature amplitude during different ENSO phases. Specifically, during La Niña, the strong (weak) deep convection over MC (PO) leads to strengthened (weakened) static stability. With enhanced easterly (westerly) winds and strengthened (weakened) static stability, the TIL Kelvin wave temperature amplitudes are stronger (weaker) over MC (PO). The opposite phenomenon occurs during El Niño. The zonal-mean zonal winds affect TIL Kelvin wave temperature amplitudes by two mechanisms. First, the prevalence of easterlies (westerlies) in the upper troposphere affects the upward propagation of Kelvin waves, resulting in stronger (weaker) TIL Kelvin wave temperature amplitudes over MC (PO). Second, the TIL Kelvin wave temperature amplitude peaks about 2 months before the zero-wind line of the descending westerly QBO phase occurs, due to dissipation on the critical line. Additionally, the rapid increase of zonal-mean static stability significantly affects the annual variation of TIL Kelvin wave temperature amplitudes. They both reach maxima during DJF and minima during JJA, which should be related to the annual cycles of temperature and ozone mixing ratio in the TIL.

Significance Statement

Recent studies indicate that the Kelvin wave temperature amplitudes in the tropical tropopause inversion layer (TIL) exhibit distinct characteristics compared with those in other height levels, while the modulation mechanisms of the TIL Kelvin waves need further investigation. The present study aims to study the differences in the variabilities and the modulation factors of TIL Kelvin waves over two longitude regions. Our findings suggest that the different responses of background conditions during ENSO phases influence the spatiotemporal distribution of the TIL Kelvin waves. Besides, the zonal winds and the static stability significantly affect the temporal variations of TIL Kelvin waves. Our work fills the research gap of TIL Kelvin waves and contributes to understanding the dynamics of tropical tropopause variations.

Restricted access
Zhuo Wang
,
Mingshi Yang
,
John E. Walsh
,
Robert M. Rauber
, and
Melinda Peng

Abstract

The intensity evolution of Arctic Cyclones (ACs) is examined via cyclone parameter space and composite analyses based on approximately 18,000 AC tracks during 1979-2021. Cyclone parameter spaces are defined by various parameters representing cyclone structure and physical processes relevant to cyclone development. It is shown that intensifying ACs are associated with diabatic heating and characterized by a cold core in both the lower and upper troposphere, as well as a thermally asymmetric and vertically tilted structure. In contrast, the decay phase is associated with diabatic cooling and characterized by a vertically aligned cyclone with reduced horizontal asymmetry. The cyclone parameter space analysis also indicates a warm core in the lower troposphere for a subset of ACs, which may reflect a frontal occlusion. The transition from AC intensification to decay, on average, is marked by a sharp decrease in both upward motion and diabatic heating, along with the vertical alignment of the cyclone structure. Following this transition, an upright cyclone may persist for a long time due to the weak background vertical wind shear, diabatic cooling, and weak Rossby wave energy dispersion. The evolution of ACs can thus be regarded as a two-stage process: a baroclinic development stage aided by diabatic heating, during which the AC evolution may conform with the Norwegian model for midlatitude cyclones, and a slow decay of an equivalent barotropic cyclone, which may leave a remnant tropopause polar vortex after the erosion of the surface circulation.

Restricted access
Free access