Interaction of the Convective Energy Cycle and Large-Scale Dynamics

Yano, Jun-Ichi ; Plant, Robert S.

Année de publication
<p align=justify>AThe importance of the convective life cycle in tropical large-scale dynamics has long been emphasized, but without explicit analysis. The present work provides it by coupling the convective energy cycle under the framework of Arakawa and Schubert's convection parameterization with a shallow-water analog atmosphere. A careful derivation of the system is first presented, because it is rather missing in the literature. The squared frequency of linear convectively coupled waves is given by a squared sum of the dry gravity wave and the convective energy cycle frequencies, shortening the period of the convective cycle through the large-scale coupling. In a weakly nonlinear regime, the system follows an equation analogous to the Korteweg-de Vries equation, which exhibits a solitary wave solution, with behavior reminiscent of observed tropical westerly wind bursts. Significance Statement The present work suggests that a nonlinear description of a large-scale tropical system with an explicit convective life cycle may provide a simple model of tropical westerly wind bursts. At the same time, an important lesson to learn is that, if the focus of a study is on the global scale of the atmosphere, it is wise not to try to include a convective life cycle explicitly into the model. Such a configuration will simply be dominated by the short convective-scale variabilities, which one would wish to filter out.</p>
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