A simple model of convection with memory

Laura Davies, Robert S Plant, Stephen H Derbyshire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


There are at least three distinct time scales that are relevant for the evolution of atmospheric convection. These are the time scale of the forcing mechanism, the time scale governing the response to a steady forcing, and the time scale of the response to variations in the forcing. The last of these, tmem, is associated with convective life cycles, which provide an element of memory in the system. A highly simplified model of convection is introduced, which allows for investigation of the character of convection as a function of the three time scales. For short tmem, the convective response is strongly tied to the forcing as in conventional equilibrium parameterization. For long tmem, the convection responds only to the slowly evolving component of forcing, and any fluctuations in the forcing are essentially suppressed. At intermediate tmem, convection becomes less predictable: conventional equilibrium closure breaks down and current levels of convection modify the subsequent response
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17202-1 - 17202-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Cite this