Title : Understanding deep convection in the tropics using convection permitting models
Abstract : The tropics, especially the Maritime Continent region, are home to the deepest storms on Earth. These convective clouds play a critical role in the water cycle, the global energy budget, and severe weather. Perhaps the most prominent feature of storms in the Maritime Continent is their diurnal cycle typically a peak in convective activity over land in the afternoon and a secondary peak offshore in the early morning. In this talk I will present a series of studies, using high resolution models, which explore the mechanisms underlying this cycle. The convection is shown to form and become organised due to a complex interaction between terrain induced flows, sea and land breezes, and diurnally forced gravity waves. These mechanisms also interact with changes in the larger scale flow associated with the passage of the Madden Julian Oscillation. An evaluation of the convection permitting models will also be presented, demonstrating important systematic biases and sensitivities to model resolution. The talk will conclude with a brief discussion of new opportunities and computational challenges.