Numerical Study of Convection Observed during the Winter Monsoon Experiment Using a Mesoscale Two-Dimensional Model

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
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Abstract

A two-dimensional version of the Pennsylvania State University mesoscale model has been applied to Winter Monsoon Experiment data in order to simulate the diurnally occurring convection observed over the South China Sea.

The domain includes a representation of part of Borneo as well as the sea so that the model can simulate the initiation of convection. Also included in the model are parameterizations of mesoscale ice phase and moisture processes and longwave and shortwave radiation with a diurnal cycle. This allows use of the model to test the relative importance of various heating mechanisms to the stratiform cloud deck, which typically occupies several hundred kilometers of the domain. Frank and Cohen's cumulus parameterization scheme is employed to represent vital unresolved vertical transports in the convective area. The major conclusions are:

  1. Ice phase processes are important in determining the level of maximum large-scale heating and vertical motion because there is a strong anvil component. The heating is initiated by a thermodynamic adjustment that takes place after the air leaves the updrafts and is associated with the difference between water and ice saturation.
  2. Melting and evaporation contribute to a 1ocalized mesoscale subsidence in a 50 km region to the rear of the moving convective area. The cooling associated with this almost cancels the cumulus heating in the lower to midtroposphere.
  3. Radiative heating was found to be the main ascent-forcing influence at high levels occupied by the widespread cirrus outflow. Additionally, radiative clear-air cooling helped the convection by continuously destabilizing the troposphere and countering the warming effect of convective updrafts.
  4. The overall structure and development of the system were well simulated, particularly the growth near the coast, and the propagation and decay in the cooler boundary layer further off-shore, but the rainfall may have been underestimated because of the two-dimensional assumptions of the model.

Abstract

A two-dimensional version of the Pennsylvania State University mesoscale model has been applied to Winter Monsoon Experiment data in order to simulate the diurnally occurring convection observed over the South China Sea.

The domain includes a representation of part of Borneo as well as the sea so that the model can simulate the initiation of convection. Also included in the model are parameterizations of mesoscale ice phase and moisture processes and longwave and shortwave radiation with a diurnal cycle. This allows use of the model to test the relative importance of various heating mechanisms to the stratiform cloud deck, which typically occupies several hundred kilometers of the domain. Frank and Cohen's cumulus parameterization scheme is employed to represent vital unresolved vertical transports in the convective area. The major conclusions are:

  1. Ice phase processes are important in determining the level of maximum large-scale heating and vertical motion because there is a strong anvil component. The heating is initiated by a thermodynamic adjustment that takes place after the air leaves the updrafts and is associated with the difference between water and ice saturation.
  2. Melting and evaporation contribute to a 1ocalized mesoscale subsidence in a 50 km region to the rear of the moving convective area. The cooling associated with this almost cancels the cumulus heating in the lower to midtroposphere.
  3. Radiative heating was found to be the main ascent-forcing influence at high levels occupied by the widespread cirrus outflow. Additionally, radiative clear-air cooling helped the convection by continuously destabilizing the troposphere and countering the warming effect of convective updrafts.
  4. The overall structure and development of the system were well simulated, particularly the growth near the coast, and the propagation and decay in the cooler boundary layer further off-shore, but the rainfall may have been underestimated because of the two-dimensional assumptions of the model.
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