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Original Research Papers

A simple, vertically resolved model of tropical disturbances with a humidity closure

Authors:

Željka Fuchs ,

Physics Department and Geophysical Research Center, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico 87801, US
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David J. Raymond

Physics Department and Geophysical Research Center, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico 87801, US
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Abstract

A vertically resolved linear model for large-scale motions in an equatorial non-rotating atmosphere is presented. Precipitation is forced by tropospheric precipitable water, cloud—radiation interactions (CRI), and wind-induced surface heat exchange (WISHE). The dynamics of the model are based on the assumption that the vertical heating profile has the shape of the first baroclinic mode. The vertical profiles of vertical velocity, temperature perturbation, etc. are calculated using an upward radiation boundary condition.

The modelled modes are of three types: fast gravity waves that resemble adiabatic modes with the vertical wavelength twice the depth of the troposphere; convectively coupled gravity modes that are damped and move with a phase speed of ≈17 m s−1; and the unstable moisture mode.

The value of the model is that under a single dynamical assumption it yields the observed phase speed for the convectively coupled gravity waves that map to Kelvin waves in the equatorial beta plane case while still producing the unstable moisture mode. However, the model lacks the precipitation physics needed to produce the observed destabilization of the gravity mode.

How to Cite: Fuchs, Ž. and Raymond, D.J., 2007. A simple, vertically resolved model of tropical disturbances with a humidity closure. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 59(3), pp.344–354. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2007.00230.x
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  Published on 01 Jan 2007
 Accepted on 12 Jan 2007            Submitted on 28 Jul 2006

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