A High-Resolution Modeling Study of the 24 May 2002 Dryline Case during IHOP. Part I: Numerical Simulation and General Evolution of the Dryline and Convection

Xue, Ming; Martin, William J.
January 2006
Monthly Weather Review;Jan2006, Vol. 134 Issue 1, p149
Academic Journal
Results from a high-resolution numerical simulation of the 24 May 2002 dryline convective initiation (CI) case are presented. The simulation uses a 400 km × 700 km domain with a 1-km horizontal resolution grid nested inside a 3-km domain and starts from an assimilated initial condition at 1800 UTC. Routine as well as special upper-air and surface observations collected during the International H2O Project (IHOP_2002) are assimilated into the initial condition. The initiation of convective storms at around 2015 UTC along a section of the dryline south of the Texas panhandle is correctly predicted, as is the noninitiation of convection at a cold-front–dryline intersection (triple point) located farther north. The timing and location of predicted CI are accurate to within 20 min and 25 km, respectively. The general evolution of the predicted convective line up to 6 h of model time also verifies well. Mesoscale convergence associated with the confluent flow around the dryline is shown to produce an upward moisture bulge, while surface heating and boundary layer mixing are responsible for the general deepening of the boundary layer. These processes produce favorable conditions for convection but the actual triggering of deep moist convection at specific locations along the dryline depends on localized forcing. Interaction of the primary dryline convergence boundary with horizontal convective rolls on its west side provides such localized forcing, while convective eddies on the immediate east side are suppressed by a downward mesoscale dryline circulation. A companion paper analyzes in detail the exact processes of convective initiation along this dryline.


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