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Supercells and Tornado-like Vortices in an Idealized Global Atmosphere Model
  • +1
  • Kai-Yuan Cheng,
  • Shian-jiann Lin,
  • Lucas Harris,
  • Linjiong Zhou
Kai-Yuan Cheng
Princeton University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Shian-jiann Lin
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Lucas Harris
GFDL
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Linjiong Zhou
Cooperative Institute for Modeling Earth Systems, and Program on Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton University
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Abstract

We investigate the representation of individual supercells and intriguing tornado-like vortices in a simplified, locally-refined global atmosphere model. The model, featuring grid stretching, can locally enhance the model resolution and economically reach the cloud-resolving scale. Given an unstable sheared environment, the model can simulate supercells realistically, with a near-ground vortex and funnel cloud at the center of a rotating updraft reminiscent of a tornado. An analysis of the vorticity budget suggests that the updraft core of the supercell tilts environmental horizontal vorticity into the tornado-like vortex. The updraft also acts to amplify the vortex through vertical stretching. Results suggest that the simulated vortex is dynamically similar to observed tornadoes and modeling studies at much higher horizontal resolution.
30 Oct 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
08 Nov 2023Published in ESS Open Archive