June 1, 2023
Journal Article

Diurnal MCSs precede the genesis of tropical cyclone Mora (2017): The role of convectively forced gravity waves


A novel high-resolution regional reanalysis is used to investigate the mesoscale processes that preceded the formation of tropical cyclone (TC) Mora (2017). Both satellite observations and the regional reanalysis show early morning mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) persistently initiated and organized in the downshear quadrant of the preexisting tropical disturbance a few days prior to the genesis of TC Mora. The diurnal MCSs gradually enhanced the meso-a-scale vortex near the center of the preexisting tropical disturbance through vortex stretching, providing a vorticityrich and moist environment for the following burst of deep convection and enhancement of the meso-ß-scale vortex. The regional reanalysis shows that the gravity waves that radiated from afternoon convection over the northern coast of the Bay of Bengal might play an important role in modulating the diurnal cycle of pregenesis MCSs. The diurnal convectively forced gravity waves increased the tropospheric stability, reduced the column saturation fraction, and suppressed deep convection within the preexisting tropical disturbance from noon to evening. Similar quasi-diurnal cycle of organized deep convection prior to TC genesis has also been observed over other basins. However, modeling studies are needed to conclusively demonstrate the relationships between the gravity waves and pregenesis diurnal MCSs. Also, whether diurnal gravity waves play a similar role in modulating the pregenesis deep convection in other TCs is worth future investigations.

Published: June 1, 2023


Chen X., L. Leung, Z. Feng, and Q. Yang. 2023. Diurnal MCSs precede the genesis of tropical cyclone Mora (2017): The role of convectively forced gravity waves. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 80, no. 6:1463–1479. PNNL-SA-182918. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-22-0203.1