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  1. Abstract

    This study investigates the effects of lakes in mountainous terrain on the evolution of supercell thunderstorms. With a newly developed radar-based, mesocyclone-detection algorithm, a recent study has characterized the occurrence and evolution of supercell thunderstorms in the Swiss Alpine region. That study highlights the influence of orography on both storm intensity and occurrence frequency. To disentangle the different influential factors, an idealized modeling framework is established here using the mesoscale model CM1. The modeling scenarios are based on a high-CAPE environment with unidirectional shear, where a warm bubble serves to initiate the convection. Mimicking the environment of the southern Prealps in central Europe, scenarios with a high mountain ridge, valleys, and lakes are explored. The effect on the supercells of the slopes, high-altitude terrain, and moisture sources emphasizes the highly localized nature of terrain effects, leading to a heterogeneous intensity life cycle with transitory enhancement and weakening of the supercell. The dynamic and thermodynamic impact of mountain valleys with lakes increases the range of atmospheric conditions that supports supercellular development through horizontal vorticity production, increased storm relative helicity, and higher moisture content. This influence results in a systematic location dependence of the frequency, intensity, and lifetime of supercells, as also found in observations.

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  2. The impact of vertical wind shear on the land–sea-breeze circulation at the equator is explored using idealized 2D numerical simulations and a simple 2D linear analytical model. Both the idealized and linear analytical models indicate Doppler shifting and attenuation effects coexist under the effect of vertical wind shear for the propagation of gravity waves that characterize the land–sea-breeze circulation. Without a background wind, the idealized sea breeze has two ray paths of gravity waves that extend outward and upward from the coast. A uniform background wind causes a tilting of the two ray paths due to Doppler shifting. With vertical shear in the background wind, the downstream ray path of wave propagation can be rapidly attenuated near a certain level, whereas the upstream ray path is not attenuated and the amplitudes even increase with height. The downstream attenuation level is found to descend with increasing linear wind shear. The present analytical model establishes that the attenuation level corresponds to the critical level where the background wind is equal to the horizontal gravity wave phase speed. The upstream gravity wave ray path can propagate upward without attenuation as there is no critical level there. 
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