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Title: The Influence of Shear on Deep Convection Initiation. Part II: Simulations

This study evaluates a hypothesis for the role of vertical wind shear in deep convection initiation (DCI) that was introduced in Part I by examining behavior of a series of numerical simulations. The hypothesis states, “Initial moist updrafts that exceed a width and shear threshold will ‘root’ within a progressively deeper steering current with time, increase their low-level cloud-relative flow and inflow, widen, and subsequently reduce their susceptibility to entrainment-driven dilution, evolving toward a quasi-steady self-sustaining state.” A theoretical model that embodied key elements of the hypothesis was developed in Part I, and the behavior of this model was explored within a multidimensional environmental parameter space. Remarkably similar behavior is evident in the simulations studied here to that of the theoretical model, both in terms of the temporal evolution of DCI and in the sensitivity of DCI to environmental parameters. Notably, both the simulations and theoretical model experience a bifurcation in outcomes, whereby nascent clouds that are narrower than a given initial radiusR0threshold quickly decay and those above theR0threshold undergo DCI. An important assumption in the theoretical model, which states that the cloud-relative flow of the background environmentVCRdetermines cloud radiusR, is scrutinized in the simulations. It is shown that storm-induced inflow is small relative toVCRbeyond a few kilometers from the updraft edge, andVCRtherefore plays a predominant role in transporting conditionally unstable air to the updraft. Thus, the critical role ofVCRin determiningRis validated.

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Award ID(s):
1661707 1928319
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
American Meteorological Society
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1691-1711
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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