Convectively coupled Kelvin waves in aquachannel simulations: 2. Life cycle and dynamicalconvective coupling

Joaquín E. Blanco, David S. Nolan, Brian E. Mapes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

This second part of a two-part study uses Weather Research and Forecasting simulations with aquachannel and aquapatch domains to investigate the time evolution of convectively coupled Kelvin waves (CCKWs). Power spectra, filtering, and compositing are combined with object-tracking methods to assess the structure and phase speed propagation of CCKWs during their strengthening, mature, and decaying phases. In this regard, we introduce an innovative approach to more closely investigate the wave (Kelvin) versus entity (super cloud cluster or “SCC”) dualism. In general, the composite CCKW structures represent a dynamical response to the organized convective activity. However, pressure and thermodynamic fields in the boundary layer behave differently. Further analysis of the time evolution of pressure and low-level moist static energy finds that these fields propagate eastward as a “moist” Kelvin wave (MKW), faster than the envelope of organized convection or SCC. When the separation is sufficiently large the SCC dissipates, and a newSCC generates to the east, in the region of strongest negative pressure perturbations. We revisit the concept itself of the “coupling” between convection and dynamics, and we also propose a conceptual model for CCKWs, with a clear distinction between the SCC and the MKW components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11319-11347
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Volume121
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 16 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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