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  • Author or Editor: Yongjie Huang x
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Yaping Wang
,
Christopher A. Davis
, and
Yongjie Huang

Abstract

Idealized simulations are conducted using the Cloud Model version 1 (CM1) to explore the mechanism of tropical cyclone (TC) genesis from a preexisting midtropospheric vortex that forms in radiative–convective equilibrium. With lower-tropospheric air approaching near saturation during TC genesis, convective cells become stronger, along with the intensifying updrafts and downdrafts and the larger area coverage of updrafts relative to downdrafts. Consequently, the low-level vertical mass flux increases, inducing vorticity amplification above the boundary layer. Of interest is that while surface cold pools help organize lower-tropospheric updrafts, genesis still proceeds, only slightly delayed, if subcloud evaporation cooling and cold pool intensity are drastically reduced. More detrimental is the disruption of near saturation through the introduction of weak vertical wind shear. The lower-tropospheric dry air suppresses the strengthening of convection, leading to weaker upward mass flux and much slower near-surface vortex spinup. We also find that surface spinup is similarly inhibited by decreasing surface drag despite the existence of a nearly saturated column, whereas larger drag accelerates spinup. Increased vorticity above the boundary layer is followed by the emergence of a horizontal pressure gradient through the depth of the boundary layer. Then the corresponding convergence resulting from the gradient imbalance in the frictional boundary layer causes vorticity amplification near the surface. It is suggested that near saturation in the lower troposphere is critical for increasing the mass flux and vorticity just above the boundary layer, but it is necessary yet insufficient because the spinup is strongly governed by boundary layer dynamics.

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Yachao Hu
,
Greg M. McFarquhar
,
Wei Wu
,
Yongjie Huang
,
Alfons Schwarzenboeck
,
Alain Protat
,
Alexei Korolev
,
Robert M Rauber
, and
Hongqing Wang

Abstract

High ice water content (HIWC) regions above tropical mesoscale convective systems are investigated using data from the second collaboration of the High Altitude Ice Crystals and High Ice Water Content projects (HAIC-HIWC) based in Cayenne, French Guiana, in 2015. Observations from in situ cloud probes on the French Falcon 20 determine the microphysical and thermodynamic properties of such regions. Data from a 2D stereo probe and precipitation imaging probe show how statistical distributions of ice crystal mass median diameter (MMD), ice water content (IWC), and total number concentration (N t ) for particles with maximum dimension (D max) > 55 μm vary with environmental conditions, temperature (T), and convective properties such as vertical velocity (w), MCS age, distance away from convective peak (L), and surface characteristics. IWC is significantly correlated with w, whereas MMD decreases and N t increases with decreasing T consistent with aggregation, sedimentation, and vapor deposition processes at lower altitudes. MMD typically increases with IWC when IWC < 0.5 g m−3, but decreases with IWC when IWC > 0.5 g m−3 for −15° ≤ T ≤ −5°C. Trends also depend on environmental conditions, such as the presence of convective updrafts that are the ice crystal source, MMD being larger in older MCSs consistent with aggregation and less injection of small crystals into anvils, and IWCs decrease with increasing L at lower T. The relationship between IWC and MMD depends on environmental conditions, with correlations decreasing with decreasing T. The strength of correlation between IWC and N t increases as T decreases.

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Yachao Hu
,
Greg M. McFarquhar
,
Peter Brechner
,
Wei Wu
,
Yongjie Huang
,
Alexei Korolev
,
Alain Protat
,
Cuong Nguyen
,
Mengistu Wolde
,
Alfons Schwarzenboeck
,
Robert M. Rauber
, and
Hongqing Wang

Abstract

A new method that automatically determines the modality of an observed particle size distribution (PSD) and the representation of each mode as a gamma function was used to characterize data obtained during the High Altitude Ice Crystals and High Ice Water Content (HAIC-HIWC) project based out of Cayenne, French Guiana, in 2015. PSDs measured by a 2D stereo probe and a precipitation imaging probe for particles with maximum dimension (D max) > 55 μm were used to show how the gamma parameters varied with environmental conditions, including temperature (T) and convective properties such as cloud type, mesoscale convective system (MCS) age, distance away from the nearest convective peak, and underlying surface characteristics. Four kinds of modality PSDs were observed: unimodal PSDs and three types of multimodal PSDs (Bimodal1 with breakpoints 100 ± 20 μm between modes, Bimodal2 with breakpoints 1000 ± 300 μm, and Trimodal PSDs with two breakpoints). The T and ice water content (IWC) are the most important factors influencing the modality of PSDs, with the frequency of multimodal PSDs increasing with increasing T and IWC. An ellipsoid of equally plausible solutions in (No λ–μ) phase space is defined for each mode of the observed PSDs for different environmental conditions. The percentage overlap between ellipsoids was used to quantify the differences between overlapping ellipsoids for varying conditions. The volumes of the ellipsoid decrease with increasing IWC for most cases, and (No λ–μ) vary with environmental conditions related to distribution of IWC. HIWC regions are dominated by small irregular ice crystals and columns. The parameters (No λ–μ) in each mode exhibit mutual dependence.

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