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Jun Peng, Lifeng Zhang, and Jiping Guan

Abstract

In this second part of a two-part study, a newly developed moist nonhydrostatic formulation of the spectral energy budget of both kinetic energy (KE) and available potential energy (APE) is employed to investigate the dynamics underlying the mesoscale upper-tropospheric energy spectra in idealized moist baroclinic waves. By calculating the conservative nonlinear spectral fluxes, it is shown that the inclusion of moist processes significantly enhances downscale cascades of both horizontal KE and APE. Moist processes act not only as a source of latent heat but also as an “atmospheric dehumidifier.” The latent heating, mainly because of the depositional growth of cloud ice, has a significant positive contribution to mesoscale APE. However, the dehumidifying reduces the diabatic contribution of the latent heating by 15% at all scales. Including moist processes also changes the direction of the mesoscale conversion between APE and horizontal KE and adds a secondary conversion of APE to gravitational energy of moist species. With or without moisture, the vertically propagating inertia–gravity waves (IGWs) produced in the lower troposphere result in a significant positive contribution to the upper-tropospheric horizontal KE spectra at the large-scale end of the mesoscale. However, including moist processes generates additional sources of IGWs located in the upper troposphere; the upward propagation of the convectively generated IGWs removes much of the horizontal KE there. Because of the restriction of the anelastic approximation, the three-dimensional divergence has no significant contribution. In view of conflicting contributions of various direct forcings, finally, an explicit comparison between the net direct forcing and energy cascade is made.

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Jun Peng, Lifeng Zhang, and Jiping Guan

Abstract

The authors investigate the mesoscale dynamics that produce the lower-stratospheric energy spectra in idealized moist baroclinic waves, using the moist nonhydrostatic formulation of spectral energy budget of kinetic energy and available potential energy by J. Peng et al. The inclusion of moist processes energizes the lower-stratospheric mesoscale, helping to close the gap between observed and simulated energy spectra. In dry baroclinic waves, the lower-stratospheric mesoscale is mainly forced by weak downscale cascades of both horizontal kinetic energy (HKE) and available potential energy (APE) and by a weak conversion of APE to HKE. At wavelengths less than 1000 km, the pressure vertical flux divergence also has a significant positive contribution to the HKE; however, this positive contribution is largely counteracted by the negative HKE vertical flux divergence. In moist baroclinic waves, the lower-stratospheric mesoscale HKE is mainly generated by the pressure and HKE vertical flux divergences. This additional HKE is partly converted to APE and partly removed by diffusion. Another negative contribution to the mesoscale HKE is from the forcing of a visible upscale HKE cascade. Besides the conversion of HKE, however, the three-dimensional divergence also has a significant positive contribution to the mesoscale APE. With these two direct APE sources, the lower-stratospheric mesoscale also undergoes a much stronger upscale APE cascade. These results suggest that both downscale and upscale cascades through the mesoscale are permitted in the real atmosphere and the direct forcing of the mesoscale is available to feed the upscale energy cascade.

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Yuan Wang, Lifeng Zhang, Jun Peng, and Jiping Guan

Abstract

High-resolution cloud-permitting simulations with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model are performed to study the generation, structure, and characteristics of mesoscale gravity waves in an idealized mei-yu front system. Two classes of waves are generated successively during the control simulation. The first class of waves, which is typical of vertically propagating waves excited by the front itself, appears as the front develops before the generation of the prefrontal moist convection and has a coherent fanlike pattern from the troposphere to the lower stratosphere. The second class of waves, which is much stronger than the fanlike waves, appears accompanied by the generation of the moist convection. It is nearly vertically trapped in the troposphere, while it propagates vertically upstream and downstream in the lower stratosphere. The source function analysis is introduced to demonstrate that the mechanical oscillator mechanism plays a dominant role in the generation of convective gravity waves in the lower stratosphere. The vertical motion induced by the deep convection develops upward in the troposphere, overshoots the level of neutral buoyancy (LNB), and impinges on the tropopause. The net buoyancy forces the air parcels to oscillate about the LNB, thus initiating gravity waves in the lower stratosphere. Further spectral analysis shows that the upstream waves have more abundant wavenumber–frequency and phase speed space distributions than the downstream waves. And the former amplify with height while the latter weaken in general under the effect of background northerly wind. The power spectral densities of downstream waves concentrate on faster phase speed than those of upstream waves.

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