Shallow-to-deep transition of continental moist convection: cold pools, surface fluxes, and mesoscale organization
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Shallow-to-deep transition of continental moist convection: cold pools, surface fluxes, and mesoscale organization

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
  • Description:
    Large-eddy simulation is used to investigate the effects of cold pools driven by rain evaporation on the shallow-to-deep convection transition over land. The physically consistent methodologies are developed to obtain a time-dependent reference ensemble without cold pools and to apply interactive surface heat fluxes without modeling of surface energy and water budgets. Three different simulation ensembles are contrasted. The reference ensemble, in the spirit of one-dimensional single-column models, eliminates cold pools by horizontally homogenizing negative buoyancy production due to rain evaporation. The additional ensembles complement the reference cold-pool-free ensemble by including cold pools and by applying either interactive or prescribed surface fluxes. Contrasting these ensembles suggests possible improvements of convection parameterization in large-scale models of weather and climate. Without cold pools, the reference ensemble preserves key features of buoyancy-driven cellular convection associated with a field of convective plumes, as assumed in a typical convection parameterization. With cold pools, a significant enhancement of surface heat and moisture fluxes and about an hour delay of their daily maximum is simulated. Cold pools enhance near-surface temperature and moisture standard deviations as well as maxima of the near-surface updraft velocity. They also lead to the reduction of cloud lateral entrainment, deeper vertical development of the cloud layer, and a few-times-larger accumulated surface precipitation. Interactive surface fluxes provide a damping mechanism that noticeably suppresses all these effects. Perhaps surprisingly, cold pools do not significantly change the cloud-base convective mass flux that approximately follows the evolution of surface heat fluxes.
  • Source:
    J. Atmos. Sci. (2018) 75(12): 4071–4090
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