Mass and Momentum Transports by Organized Convection: Effects of Shear and Buoyancy

Changhai Liu National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Mitchell W. Moncrieff National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

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Abstract

The dynamical theory of mass and momentum transport by organized convection, produced by Moncrieff, is extended using a hydrodynamical model, a two-dimensional buoyant model, and a quasi-three-dimensional buoyant model. Each is characterized by three relative flow branches that idealize the structure of squall-line cloud systems.

Despite the physical and structural diversity, a clear similarity in mass and momentum transports holds for the entire hierarchy, such as the negative-dominant momentum flux by systems propagating in the positive x-direction. Shear and buoyancy are shown to alter the details but not the overall nature of the dynamical transports. In particular. both mass and momentum fluxes are insensitive to the Froude numbers in the hydrodynamical model. The two-dimensional buoyant model enhances the momentum flux amplitude but has a much less noticeable impact on mass fluxes. In contrast, the three-dimensional buoyant model has a larger mass flux and raises the heights of the mass and momentum flux extrema. The low-level inflow shear has a similar effect in these models by increasing both mass and momentum fluxes. Buoyancy affects transports largely through modifying the flow field while the inflow shear influences transports by strengthening the low-level convergence.

Abstract

The dynamical theory of mass and momentum transport by organized convection, produced by Moncrieff, is extended using a hydrodynamical model, a two-dimensional buoyant model, and a quasi-three-dimensional buoyant model. Each is characterized by three relative flow branches that idealize the structure of squall-line cloud systems.

Despite the physical and structural diversity, a clear similarity in mass and momentum transports holds for the entire hierarchy, such as the negative-dominant momentum flux by systems propagating in the positive x-direction. Shear and buoyancy are shown to alter the details but not the overall nature of the dynamical transports. In particular. both mass and momentum fluxes are insensitive to the Froude numbers in the hydrodynamical model. The two-dimensional buoyant model enhances the momentum flux amplitude but has a much less noticeable impact on mass fluxes. In contrast, the three-dimensional buoyant model has a larger mass flux and raises the heights of the mass and momentum flux extrema. The low-level inflow shear has a similar effect in these models by increasing both mass and momentum fluxes. Buoyancy affects transports largely through modifying the flow field while the inflow shear influences transports by strengthening the low-level convergence.

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