WindFlux Feedbacks and Convective Organization during the November 2011 MJO Event in a High-Resolution Model
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WindFlux Feedbacks and Convective Organization during the November 2011 MJO Event in a High-Resolution Model

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
  • Description:
    The November 2011 Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) event during the Dynamics of the MJO (DYNAMO) field campaign is simulated with the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) cloud-resolving model to examine the relationship between precipitation and surface latent heat flux (LHFLX) for deep convective clusters within the MJO and to discern the importance of surface LHFLX for organizing MJO convection. First, a simulation similar in size to the DYNAMO northern sounding array was run with interactive surface fluxes. Composites for precipitation, surface LHFLX, wind speed, wind vectors, and near-surface specific humidity are described for various-sized convective clusters during different MJO regimes. The precipitation–LHFLX relationship generally evolves as follows for an individual cluster. About 2 h before cluster identification, the maximum LHFLX occurs upwind of maximum precipitation. As cluster identification time is approached, LHFLX and precipitation maxima become coincident. At and after the cluster is identified, maximum LHFLXs move downwind of the precipitation maximum with a local minimum in LHFLXs behind the precipitation maximum.

    Sensitivity simulations with spatially homogenized LHFLXs were then run to determine the impacts of local LHFLX feedbacks on convective organization. Using area-averaged convective versus stratiform precipitation fraction and a simple convective aggregation index to quantify organization, no systematic difference in convective organization was detected between the control and sensitivity simulations, suggesting that local LHFLX variability is not important to convective organization in this model. Implications of these results are discussed.

  • Source:
    Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 75(1), 57-84
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