Mesoscale convective vortices observed during BAMEX. Part 2: Influences on secondary deep convection

AMS Citation:
Trier, S. B., and C. A. Davis, 2007: Mesoscale convective vortices observed during BAMEX. Part 2: Influences on secondary deep convection. Monthly Weather Review, 135, 2051-2075, doi:10.1175/MWR3399.1.
Resource Type:article
Title:Mesoscale convective vortices observed during BAMEX. Part 2: Influences on secondary deep convection
Abstract: Observations from the Bow Echo and Mesoscale Convective Vortex (MCV) Experiment are used to examine the role of the five mesoscale convective vortices described in Part 1 on heavy precipitation during the daytime heating cycle. Persistent widespread stratiform rain without deep convection occurs for two strong MCVs in conditionally stable environments with strong vertical shear. Two other MCVs in moderate-to-strong vertical shear have localized redevelopment of deep convection (termed secondary convection) on their downshear side, where conditional instability exists. The strongest of the five MCVs occurs in weak vertical shear and has widespread secondary convection, which is most intense on its conditionally unstable southeast periphery. The two MCVs with only localized secondary convection have well-defined mesoscale vertical motion couplets with downshear ascent and upshear descent above the planetary boundary layer (PBL). Although the amplitude is significantly greater, the kinematically derived vertical motion dipole resembles that implied by steady, vortex-relative isentropic flow, consistent with previous idealized (dry) simulations and diagnoses based on operational model analyses. In the other three cases with either widespread precipitation or weak environmental vertical shear, the kinematic and isentropic vertical motion patterns are poorly correlated. Vertical motions above the PBL provide a focus for secondary convection through adiabatic cooling downshear and adiabatic warming upshear of the MCV center. The MCVs occur within surface frontal zones with large temperature and moisture gradients across the environmental vertical shear vector (Part 1). Thus, the effect of vertical motions on conditional instability is reinforced by horizontal advections of high equivalent potential temperature air downshear, and low equivalent potential temperature air upshear within the PBL. On average, the quadrant immediately right of downshear (typically southeast of the MCV center) best supports deep convection because of the juxtaposition of greatest mesoscale ascent, high equivalent potential temperature PBL air, and MCV-induced enhancement of the vertical shear.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2007 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d79c6xp4
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/MWR3399.1
  • Stanley Trier - NCAR/UCAR
  • Christopher Davis - NCAR/UCAR
  • Random Profile


    Recent & Upcoming Visitors