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Christian H. Boyer
and
Jason M. Keeler

Abstract

Recent idealized modeling studies have highlighted the importance of explicitly simulating realistic convective boundary layer (CBL) structures to assess and represent their influence on mesoscale phenomena. The choice of lateral boundary conditions (LBCs) has a substantial impact on these turbulent structures, including the distribution of kinematic and thermodynamic properties within the CBL. While use of periodic LBCs is ideal, open LBCs are required for nonuniform domains (e.g., multiple air masses or land surface types). However, open LBCs result in an unrealistic, laminar CBL structure near the upstream boundary that undoubtedly impacts the evolution of any simulated phenomena. Therefore, there is a need for a modified open LBC option to mitigate this unrealistic structure, while still permitting users to simulate phenomena in nonuniform domains. The Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Cloud Model 1 (CM1), version 19.8, includes an optional inflow-nudging technique to nudge inflow to the base-state wind profile. For the present study, the authors modified this method to one that nudges toward a continually updated, horizontally averaged profile so that the technique may be used for phenomena under evolving conditions. Simulations using LBC choices, including nudging to either the base state or horizontal average, were evaluated relative to respective dual-periodic LBC control simulations with or without vertical wind shear. The horizontal average nudging technique outperformed the traditional open LBCs and nudging to the base state, as demonstrated using a histogram matching technique applied to grid points within the CBL. Ultimately, this work can be used to assist modelers in assessing which LBCs are appropriate for their intended use.

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Johannes M. L. Dahl
and
Christian Boyer
Free access
Christian H. Boyer
and
Johannes M. L. Dahl

Abstract

Despite their structural differences, supercells and quasi-linear convective systems (QLCS) are both capable of producing severe weather, including tornadoes. Previous research has highlighted multiple potential mechanisms by which horizontal vorticity may be reoriented into the vertical at low levels, but it is not clear in which situation what mechanism dominates. In this study, we use the CM1 model to simulate three different storm modes, each of which developed relatively large near-surface vertical vorticity. Using forward-integrated parcel trajectories, we analyze vorticity budgets and demonstrate that there seems to be a common mechanism for maintaining the near-surface vortices across storm structures. The parcels do not acquire vertical vorticity until they reach the base of the vortices. The vertical vorticity results from vigorous upward tilting of horizontal vorticity and simultaneous vertical stretching. While the parcels analyzed in our simulations do have a history of descent, they do not acquire appreciable vertical vorticity during their descent. Rather, during the analysis period relatively large horizontal vorticity develops as a result of horizontal stretching, and therefore this vorticity can be effectively tilted into the vertical.

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Clémentde Boyer Montégut
,
Jérôme Vialard
,
S. S. C. Shenoi
,
D. Shankar
,
Fabien Durand
,
Christian Ethé
, and
Gurvan Madec

Abstract

A global ocean general circulation model (OGCM) is used to investigate the mixed layer heat budget of the northern Indian Ocean (NIO). The model is validated against observations and shows fairly good agreement with mixed layer depth data in the NIO. The NIO has been separated into three subbasins: the western Arabian Sea (AS), the eastern AS, and the Bay of Bengal (BoB). This study reveals strong differences between the western and eastern AS heat budget, while the latter basin has similarities with the BoB. Interesting new results on seasonal time scales are shown. The penetration of solar heat flux needs to be taken into account for two reasons. First, an average of 28 W m−2 is lost beneath the mixed layer over the year. Second, the penetration of solar heat flux tends to reduce the effect of solar heat flux on the SST seasonal cycle in the AS because the seasons of strongest flux are also seasons with a thin mixed layer. This enhances the control of SST seasonal variability by latent heat flux. The impact of salinity on SST variability is demonstrated. Salinity stratification plays a clear role in maintaining a high winter SST in the BoB and eastern AS while not in the western AS. The presence of freshwater near the surface allows heat storage below the surface layer that can later be recovered by entrainment warming during winter cooling (with a winter contribution of +2.1°C in the BoB). On an interannual time scale, the eastern AS and BoB are strongly controlled by the winds through the latent heat flux anomalies. In the western AS, vertical processes, as well as horizontal advection, contribute significantly to SST interannual variability, and the wind is not the only factor controlling the heat flux forcing.

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