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Aviation Turbulence Induced by the Interaction between a Jet Stream and Deep Convection
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  • Haoming Chen,
  • Xiaoming Shi,
  • Christy Yan-Yu Leung,
  • Ping Cheung,
  • Pak Wai Chan
Haoming Chen
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
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Xiaoming Shi
Division of Environment and Sustainability, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Christy Yan-Yu Leung
Hong Kong Observatory
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Ping Cheung
Hong Kong Observatory
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Pak Wai Chan
Hong Kong Observatory
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On December 18, 2022, Hawaiian Airlines flight HA35 encountered severe turbulence in a cloud-free region without warning. We simulated this incident using the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) with a convective permitting grid. We found that the turbulence formed due to the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI) generated by strong vertical wind shear. At low altitudes, deep convection caused a decrease in wind speed in both upstream and downstream regions. At upper levels, the jet descended and accelerated after flowing over the convection, which acted like a barrier and produced a situation similar to a downslope windstorm. The low Scorer parameter above the jet and the self-induced critical level created the locally enhanced descending jet stream, which destabilized the flow through KHI.
01 Jun 2023Submitted to ESS Open Archive
01 Jun 2023Published in ESS Open Archive