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Raymond, D. J. and Kilroy, G. (2019): Control of Convection in High-Resolution Simulations of Tropical cyclogenesis. In: Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 11, No. 6: pp. 1582-1599

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Three idealized high-resolution simulations of tropical storm formation from a weak vortex are analyzed. The three simulations include a case using warm rain microphysics, a similar case in which surface friction is omitted, and a case in which ice microphysics is used. The goal is to understand the mechanisms controlling the intensity and distribution of convection in the formation process in each of these cases. Simulations of convection in weak temperature gradient convective models show that a combination of low to middle tropospheric moist convective instability, the saturation fraction or column relative humidity, and the surface moist entropy flux explain a high percentage of the variance in precipitation and lower tropospheric vertical mass flux. Tropical cyclones differ from other convective environments in that intense frictional convergence occurs in the boundary layer. Adding a measure of convective inhibition to account for this process enables the lower tropospheric mass flux to be predicted even in the core regions of the simulated tropical cyclones. These results are pertinent to the development of more accurate convective parameterizations for large-scale models.

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