Seventh Annual AMS Student Conference


Calculating the moist static energy budget around the ITCZ in idealized WRF simulations

Scott W. Powell, University of Miami, Miami, FL; and D. S. Nolan

Prior studies have suggested the existence of a shallow return flow out of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over open ocean. The strength of this shallow meridional circulation (SMC) suggests that moisture and energy budgets of the ITCZ and Hadley circulation should be significantly affected by the export of moist air in the SMC between 2km and 4km and inflow of relatively dry air between 6km and 7km.

The Weather Research and Forecast Model (WRF) version 2.1.2 is used to model the circulation using various idealized sea surface temperature profiles to create several simulations of ITCZ regions over open ocean. Near the ITCZ, several vertically layered regions of meridional water and energy transport correspond with the boundary layer inflow, upper tropospheric outflow, and the SMC. This work examines the budget of moist static energy (MSE), consisting of transport through meridional winds, incoming and outgoing radiation, and sensible and latent heat fluxes resulting from the ocean. In a strong SMC regime, wind-transported MSE in the shallow return flow and dry mid-level flow significantly contribute to the overall energy budget. Components of the MSE budget are quantified in each of the several simulations.

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Poster Session 1, Student Conference General Poster Session
Sunday, 20 January 2008, 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Exhibit Hall B

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