Mesoscale organization of deep covection

Mesoscale organization of deep convection
Contact: Martin Singh (

A defining feature of deep convection is the way it organizes on a range of scales. Individual convective cells occupy only a few km, but multiple cells in close proximity may interact and produce mesoscale convective systems such as squall lines, mesoscale convective complexes, and tropical cyclones (e.g., Maddox, 1980). Collections of such mesoscale systems themselves interact, producing large-scale cloud features that have been referred to as “superclusters” (Mapes & Houze, 1993).

Organized deep convection accounts for a large fraction of tropical precipitation, and it is known to be an important control on the hydrological cycle and adiative energy budget of the tropics. But there remain several open questions regarding the physical mechanisms that act to organize deep convection and the role played by convective organization in a changing climate.

The working group is currently developing a collaborative activity focusing on deep convective organization. The project aims to address the following research questions:

  1. How do we characterize convective organization?
  2. What physical mechanisms contribute to deep convective organization?
  3. What are the effects of deep convective organization on larger scales?

The working group is currently in the planning stage of this activity. We foresee two broad strands of research activity:

  1. A model intercomparison study of deep convective organization in high-resolution (storm resolving) models. The simulation and output protocol is currently in development.
  2. An activity characterizing organization in observations, with a focus on synthesizing research on different metrics quantifying organization that have appeared in the literature

If you would like to be involved in either of these strands please email Martin Singh and sign up for the mailing list here.