P2.130 Characterization of momentum transport associated with organized moist convection and gravity waves

Thursday, 13 May 2010
Arizona Ballroom 7 (JW MArriott Starr Pass Resort)
Todd P. Lane, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia; and M. W. Moncrieff

Tropical convection is inherently multi-scalar, involving complex fields of clouds and various regimes of convective organization ranging from small disorganized cumulus up to large organized convective clusters. In addition to being a crucial component of the atmospheric water cycle and the global heat budget, tropical convection induces vertical fluxes of horizontal momentum. There are two main contributions to the momentum transport. The first resides entirely in the troposphere and is due to ascent, descent, and organized circulations within precipitating convective systems.The second resides in the troposphere, stratosphere, and further aloft and is caused by vertically propagating gravity waves. Both the convective momentum transport and the gravity wave momentum flux must be parameterized in general circulation models, yet in existing parameterizations these two processes are treated independently. This paper examines the relationship between the convective momentum flux and the gravity wave momentum transport by utilizing idealized model simulations of multiscale tropical convection in different wind shear conditions. The simulations produce convective systems with a variety of regimes of convective organization, and therefore different convective momentum transport properties and gravity wave spectra. A number of important connections are identified, including a consistency in the sign of the momentum transports in the lower-troposphere and stratosphere that is linked to the generation of gravity waves by tilted convective updrafts. These results elucidate important connections between the convective momentum transport and the gravity wave momentum flux that will be useful for interlinking their parameterization in the future.
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