Upscale impact of mesoscale disturbances of tropical convection on 2-day waves

Qiu Yang, Andrew J. Majda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Westward-propagating 2-day waves with embedded mesoscale disturbances contribute a large portion of synoptic variability of tropical convection over the western Pacific. It is of crucial importance to assess the upscale impact on 2-day waves of these mesoscale disturbances that propagate at various tilt angles. Also, it will be informative to consider the upscale impact on both symmetric and asymmetric 2-day waves in terms of convection, morphology of circulation, and tropical cyclogenesis. A simple multiscale asymptotic model is used to simulate the two-scale structure of 2-day waves. The synoptic-scale circulation response is driven by westward-propagating mean heating and eddy transfer of momentum and temperature. The latter is interpreted as the upscale impact of mesoscale fluctuations. The upscale impact of mesoscale disturbances that propagate at a tilt angle between 315° and 45° induces low-level negative potential temperature anomalies and westerly inflow. Shallow congestus convection triggered in a moist environment at the leading edge of the 2-day waves supports the westward propagation. For asymmetric 2-day waves in the Northern Hemisphere, the upscale impact of mesoscale disturbances propagating at a tilt angle between 315° and 0° induces lower-tropospheric cyclonic flows and negative pressure perturbation. This provides a new mechanism to precondition tropical cyclogenesis. A comparison of the upscale impact on symmetric westward-propagating 2-day waves and eastward-propagating convectively coupled Kelvin waves shows that their tilt angle ranges with favorable conditions for convection and enhanced inflow are simply opposite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-194
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume76
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Convection
  • Gravity waves
  • Mesoscale systems
  • Synoptic-scale processes
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Tropical variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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