Numerical simulations of the post-sunrise reorganization of a nocturnal mesoscale convective system during 13 June IHOP_2002

AMS Citation:
Trier, S. B., J. H. Marsham, C. A. Davis, and D. Ahijevych, 2011: Numerical simulations of the post-sunrise reorganization of a nocturnal mesoscale convective system during 13 June IHOP_2002. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 68, 2988-3011, doi:10.1175/JAS-D-11-0112.1.
Date:2011-12-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Numerical simulations of the post-sunrise reorganization of a nocturnal mesoscale convective system during 13 June IHOP_2002
Abstract: A convection-permitting numerical model is used to simulate the post-sunrise reorganization of a nocturnal mesoscale convective system (MCS) observed over western and central Oklahoma on 13 June 2002 during the International H₂O (IHOP_2002) Field Experiment. The MCS reorganization consists of a transition from NW-SE oriented convective rainbands near sunrise to a single NE-SW oriented convective rainband with trailing stratiform precipitation later in the morning. Results indicate the importance of environmental preconditioning on MCS reorganization. In particular, the development of the NE-SW rainband that redefines the MCS organization is facilitated by a similarly oriented zone of antecedent mesoscale upward motion, which increases the depth of large water vapor mixing ratios. This allows convective updrafts to be fed primarily by moist and conditionally unstable air from 1 to 2.5 km AGL in the NE-SW oriented rainband, which lacks a surface cold pool during its incipient post-sunrise stage. The MCS develops a strong surface cold pool from latent-cooling induced downdrafts by midmorning and evolves into an upshear-tilted squall-type system. These downdrafts and the resulting cold pool are not necessary for the overall reorganization and maintenance of the MCS in this environment where earlier mesoscale ascent has occurred. However, the latent cooling from downdrafts does influence the MCS strength, vertical structure, and horizontal motion by early in the post-sunrise stage. In contrast, surface heating of the preconvective environment has little effect on the strength and structural characteristics of the MCS until midday, by which time the convection has become primarily surface based.
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7m32wbr
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JAS-D-11-0112.1
Author(s):
  • Stanley Trier - NCAR/UCAR
  • John Marsham - NCAR/UCAR
  • Christopher Davis - NCAR/UCAR
  • David Ahijevych - NCAR/UCAR
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