Essential Maintenance: All Authorea-powered sites will be offline 9am-10am EDT Tuesday 28 May
and 11pm-1am EDT Tuesday 28-Wednesday 29 May. We apologise for any inconvenience.

loading page

A Global Survey of Rotating Convective Updrafts in the GFDL X-SHiELD 2021 Global Storm Resolving Model
  • +3
  • Lucas Harris,
  • Linjiong Zhou,
  • Alex David Kaltenbaugh,
  • Spencer Koncius Clark,
  • Kai-Yuan Cheng,
  • Christopher S. Bretherton
Lucas Harris

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Linjiong Zhou
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Author Profile
Alex David Kaltenbaugh
Author Profile
Spencer Koncius Clark
Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence / NOAA-GFDL
Author Profile
Kai-Yuan Cheng
Princeton University
Author Profile
Christopher S. Bretherton
Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence
Author Profile


We present the characteristics of rotating convective updrafts in the 2021 version of GFDL’s Experimental System for High-resolution prediction on Earth-to-Local Domains (X-SHiELD), a kilometer scale global storm resolving model (GSRM). Rotation is quantified using 2–5 km Updraft Helicity (UH) in a year-long integration forced by analyzed SSTs. Updrafts with UH magnitudes above 50 m2/s2; are common over the mid-latitude continents, especially in the warm seasons where they are associated with severe weather but are also common over most tropical ocean basins. In nearly all areas cyclonically rotating convection dominates, with larger UH values increasingly preferring cyclonic rotation. The ratio of cyclonic to anticyclonic updrafts is largest in the subtropical and mid-latitude oceans and is slightly lower over mid-latitude continents. The ratio of cyclonic to anticyclonic updrafts can be substantively explained by the mean storm-relative helicity (SRH) in convective regions, indicating the importance for environmental controls on the sense of storm rotation, although internal storm dynamics also plays a role in the generation of anticyclonic updrafts.