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Yousuke Sato, Takashi Y. Nakajima, and Teruyuki Nakajima

Abstract

This paper investigates the vertical structure of warm-cloud microphysical properties using a three-dimensional (3D) spectral bin microphysical model. A time series of contoured frequency by optical depth diagrams (CFODDs), which were proposed by previous studies, are calculated for the first time by a 3D model assuming two types of aerosol conditions (i.e., polluted and pristine). This contrasts with previous studies that obtained CFODDs using either a two-dimensional model or an accumulation of monthly and global observation data. The results show that the simulated CFODDs are characterized by distinctive patterns of radar reflectivities, similar to the patterns often observed by satellite remote sensing, even though the calculation domain of this study is limited to an area of 30 × 30 km2, whereas the satellite observations are of a global scale. A cloud microphysical box model is then applied to the simulated cloud field at each time step to identify the dominant process for each of the patterns. The results reveal that the wide variety of satellite-observed CFODD patterns can be attributed to different microphysical processes occurring in multiple cloud cells at various stages of the cloud life cycle.

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Yousuke Sato, Yoshiaki Miyamoto, and Hirofumi Tomita

Abstract

The dependence of lightning frequency on the life cycle of an idealized tropical cyclone (TC) was investigated using a three-dimensional meteorological model coupled with an explicit lightning model. To investigate this dependence, an idealized numerical simulation covering the initial state to the steady state (SS) of an idealized TC was conducted. The simulation was consistent with the temporal evolution of lightning frequency reported by previous observational studies. Our analyses showed that the dependence originates from changes in the types of convective cloud with lightning over the life cycle of the TC. Before rapid intensification (RI) and in the early stage of RI, convective cloud cells that form under high-convective available potential energy (CAPE) conditions are the main contributors to lightning. As the TC reaches the late stage of RI and approaches SS, the secondary circulation becomes prominent and convective clouds in the eyewall region alongside the secondary circulation gradually become the main contributors to the lightning. In the convective cloud cells formed under high-CAPE conditions, upward velocity is strong and large charge density is provided through noninductive charge separation induced by graupel collisions. This large charge density frequently induces lightning in the clouds. On the other hand, the vertical velocity in the eyewall is weak, and it tends to contribute to lightning only when the TC reaches the mature stage. Our analyses imply that the maximum lightning frequency that occurs before the maximum intensity of a TC corresponds to the stage of a TC’s life cycle in which convective cloud cells are generated most frequently and moisten the upper troposphere.

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Takenari Kinoshita, Kaoru Sato, Kentaro Ishijima, Masayuki Takigawa, and Yousuke Yamashita

Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) quasi-residual mean flow is derived to diagnose 3D dynamical material transport associated with stationary planetary waves. The 3D quasi-residual mean vertical flow does not include the vertical flow due to tilting of the potential temperature caused by stationary waves, which is apparent but not seen in the mass-weighted isentropic mean state. Thus, the quasi-residual mean vertical flow is balanced with the term of diabatic heating rate. The 3D quasi-residual mean horizontal flow is balanced with the sum of the forcing due to transient wave activity flux divergence and the forcing associated with fluctuation of the potential vorticity due to stationary waves (defined as the effective Coriolis forcing). The zonal mean of the effective Coriolis forcing corresponds to the divergence of stationary wave activity flux. Thus, the zonal mean of derived 3D quasi-residual mean flow is exactly equal to the traditional residual mean flow. To demonstrate the usefulness of this quasi-residual mean flow, we analyze material transport of atmospheric sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) by using an atmospheric chemistry transport model. Comparison between the derived 3D quasi-residual mean flow and traditional residual mean flow shows that the zonal mean of advection of SF6 associated with the 3D quasi-residual mean flow derived is almost equal to that of the traditional residual mean flow. Next, it is confirmed that the horizontal structure of advection of SF6 associated with the 3D quasi-residual mean flow is balanced with the transport because of the nonlinear, nonconservative effects of disturbances. This relation is similar to the results for traditional residual mean flow in the zonal-mean state.

Open access
Yousuke Sato, Kentaroh Suzuki, Takamichi Iguchi, In-Jin Choi, Hiroyuki Kadowaki, and Teruyuki Nakajima

Abstract

Three-dimensional downscaling simulations using a spectral bin microphysics (SBM) model were conducted to investigate the effects of aerosol amount and dynamical stabilities of the atmosphere on the correlation statistics between cloud droplet effective radius (RE) and cloud optical thickness (COT) of warm clouds off the coast of California. The regeneration process of aerosols was implemented into the SBM and was found to be necessary for simulating the satellite-observed microphysical properties of warm clouds by the SBM model used in this study.

The results showed that the aerosol amount changed the correlation statistics in a way that changes the cloud particle number concentration, whereas the inversion height of the boundary layer, which is related to the atmospheric stability and the cloud-top height, changed the correlation statistics in a way that changes the liquid water path. These results showed that the dominant mechanisms that control the correlation statistics are similar to those suggested by previous modeling studies based on two-dimensional idealized simulations. On the other hand, the present three-dimensional modeling was also able to simulate some realistic patterns of the correlation statistics, namely, mixtures of characteristic patterns and the “high-heeled” pattern as observed by satellite remote sensing.

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