A subtropical oceanic mesoscale convective vortex observed during SoWMEX/TiMREX

AMS Citation:
Lai, H. -W., C. A. Davis, and B. J. -D. Jou, 2011: A subtropical oceanic mesoscale convective vortex observed during SoWMEX/TiMREX. Monthly Weather Review, 139, 2367-2385, doi:10.1175/2010MWR3411.1.
Date:2011-08-01
Resource Type:article
Title:A subtropical oceanic mesoscale convective vortex observed during SoWMEX/TiMREX
Abstract: This study examines a subtropical oceanic mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) that occurred from 1800 UTC 4 June to 1200 UTC 6 June 2008 during intensive observing period (IOP) 6 of the Southwest Monsoon Experiment (SoWMEX) and the Terrain-influenced Monsoon Rainfall Experiment (TiMREX). A dissipating mesoscale convective system reorganized within a nearly barotropic vorticity strip, which formed as a southwesterly low-level jet developed to the south of subsiding easterly flow over the southern Taiwan Strait. A cyclonic circulation was revealed on the northern edge of the mesoscale rainband with a horizontal scale of 200 km. An inner subvortex, on a scale of 25-30 km with maximum shear vorticity of 3 × 10⁻³ s⁻¹, was embedded in the stronger convection. The vortex-relative southerly flow helped create local potential instability favorable for downshear convection enhancement. Strong low-level convergence suggests that stretching occurred within the MCV. Higher θe air, associated with significant potential and conditional instability, and high reflectivity signatures near the vortex center suggest that deep moist convection was responsible for the vortex stretching. Dry rear inflow penetrated into the MCV and suppressed convection in the upshear direction. A mesolow was also roughly observed within the larger vortex. The presence of intense vertical wind shear in the higher troposphere limited the vortex vertical extent to about 6 km.
Subject(s):Subtropics, Mesoscale systems, Convective storms, Vortices
Peer Review:Refereed
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OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d73r0tdz
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/2010MWR3411.1
Author(s):
  • Hsiao-Wei Lai
  • Christopher Davis - NCAR/UCAR
  • Ben Jong-Dao Jou
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