Journal article

Intensity of thunderstorm-generated turbulence revealed by large-eddy simulation

TP Lane, RD Sharman

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS | American Geophysical Union | Published : 2014


Thunderstorms are characterized by turbulent processes that constitute an important aviation hazard and cause vertical transport of atmospheric constituents. Turbulence occurs within cloud and in the surrounding clear air, but, despite its importance, the characteristics of thunderstorm-generated turbulence and its spatial distribution are poorly understood, especially outside of cloud. Here we use large-eddy simulation to characterize turbulence generated by a canonical thunderstorm. The simulation identifies regions of notable three-dimensional anisotropic turbulence more than 5 km above the storm, in a shallow layer above the storm's anvil, and a horizontally asymmetric pattern of weaker ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Australian Research Council

Awarded by Centre of Excellence

Funding Acknowledgements

TPL is supported by the Australian Research Council's Future Fellowships (FT0990892) and Centre of Excellence (CE110001028) Schemes. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Computing was conducted on the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) facility in Canberra through access provided by the merit allocation and flagship schemes. We thank George Bryan (NCAR) for providing the CM1 code (available from: and useful discussions. We also thank Ulrich Schumann (DLR), Stan Trier (NCAR), and Dragana Zovko-Rajak (University of Melbourne) for useful discussions and two anonymous reviewers for their comments.