Parameterized Mesoscale Forcing Mechanisms for Initiating Numerically Simulated Isolated Multicellular Convection

Loftus, Adrian M.; Weber, Daniel B.; Doswell III, Charles A.
July 2008
Monthly Weather Review;Jul2008, Vol. 136 Issue 7, p2408
Academic Journal
Two methods designed to parameterize mesoscale ascent in a three-dimensional numerical cloud model via near-surface momentum and heat fluxes are presented and compared to the commonly used technique of an initial perturbation placed within the model initial condition. The flux techniques use a continuously reinforced thermal or convergent low-level wind field to produce upward vertical motion on the order of 10 cm s-1, by which deep, moist convection can be initiated. The sensitivity of the convective response to the type, strength, and size of the forcing is evaluated using numerical simulations of a conditionally unstable environment with weak unidirectional shear. Precipitation-free cloud processes are used to further simplify the model response to the forcing. The three methods tested produce an initial convective response, but only the momentum and heat flux methods are able to produce sustained deep convection that approximately resembles isolated multicellular convection. Cell regeneration periods, defined as the elapsed time between subsequent vertical velocity maxima passing through a constant level in the updraft region above the source, vary from 8 to 25 min, depending on the forcing type, magnitude, and geometry.


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