Articles | Volume 15, issue 19
Research article
06 Oct 2015
Research article |  | 06 Oct 2015

A numerical study of convection in rainbands of Typhoon Morakot (2009) with extreme rainfall: roles of pressure perturbations with low-level wind maxima

C.-C. Wang, H.-C. Kuo, R. H. Johnson, C.-Y. Lee, S.-Y. Huang, and Y.-H. Chen

Abstract. This paper investigates the formation and evolution of deep convection inside the east–west oriented rainbands associated with a low-level jet (LLJ) in Typhoon Morakot (2009). With the typhoon center to the northwest of Taiwan, the westerly LLJ occurred as a result from the interaction of typhoon circulation with the southwest monsoon flow, which supplied the water vapor for the extreme rainfall (of ~ 1000 mm) over southwestern Taiwan. The Cloud-Resolving Storm Simulator with 1 km grid spacing was used to simulate the event, and it successfully reproduced the slow-moving rainbands, the embedded cells, and the dynamics of merger and back-building (BB) on 8 August as observed. Our model results suggest that the intense convection interacted strongly with the westerly LLJ that provided reversed vertical wind shear below and above the jet core. Inside mature cells, significant dynamical pressure perturbations (p'd) are induced with positive (negative) p'd at the western (eastern) flank of the updraft near the surface and a reversed pattern aloft (> 2 km). This configuration produced an upward-directed pressure gradient force (PGF) to the rear side and favors new development to the west, which further leads to cell merging as the mature cells slowdown in eastward propagation. The strong updrafts also acted to elevate the jet and enhance the local vertical wind shear at the rear flank. Additional analysis reveals that the upward PGF there is resulted mainly by the shearing effect but also by the extension of upward acceleration at low levels. In the horizontal, the upstream-directed PGF induced by the rear-side positive p'd near the surface is much smaller, but can provide additional convergence for BB development upstream. Finally, the cold-pool mechanism for BB appears to be not important in the Morakot case, as the conditions for strong evaporation in downdrafts do not exist.

Final-revised paper