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2009 .

(1 publication)

C. Rio, F. Hourdin, J.-Y. Grandpeix, and J.-P. Lafore. Shifting the diurnal cycle of parameterized deep convection over land. Geophysical Research Letters, 36:7809, April 2009. [ bib | DOI | ADS link ]

In most atmospheric circulation models used for climate projections, cloud and convective processes are not explicitly resolved but parameterized. Such models are known to produce a diurnal cycle of continental thunderstorms in phase with insolation, while observed precipitation peaks in late afternoon. We propose a new approach which corrects this long standing bias of parameterized convection. In this approach, deep convection triggering and intensity are controlled by sub-cloud processes: here boundary layer thermals and gust fronts, and potentially orography or surface heterogeneities. The representation of the diurnal cycle of deep convection is greatly improved in 1D mode, with rainfall maximum delayed from midday to late afternoon, provided parameterizations account for the key role played by shallow cumulus in preconditioning deep convection and by gust fronts in the self-sustaining of thunderstorms in the afternoon.

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