Mesoscale cellular convection: is it convection?

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Fiedler, Brian H. (2011)

The three convective instability models that aim to account for the broad aspect ratio of mesoscale cellular convection (MCC) are compared with a simple analytical version of the mesoscale entrainment instability (MEI) model proposed by Fiedler (1984). The inadequacies of the convective models are demonstrated. In the MEI model, the MCC is generated from above by a mesoscale instability in the entrainment fluxes. MEI is able to account for the broad aspect ratio of MCC. However the predicted growth rate for MEI is only of order 10-5 s-1, which may be too small to account for the amplitude of MCC. Tactics are discussed for making aircraft observations that could reveal whether MCC is generated by MEI or by convection within the mixed layer.DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0870.1985.tb00278.x
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