The Mechanics of Gross Moist Stability

Raymond, David J.; Sessions, Sharon L.; Sobel, Adam H.; Fuchs, Željka

The gross moist stability relates the net lateral outflow of moist entropy or moist static energy from an atmospheric convective region to some measure of the strength of the convection in that region. If the gross moist stability can be predicted as a function of the local environmental conditions, then it becomes the key element in understanding how convection is controlled by the large‐scale flow. This paper provides a guide to the various ways in which the gross moist stability is defined and the subtleties of its calculation from observations and models. Various theories for the determination of the gross moist stability are presented and its roles in current conceptual models for the tropical atmospheric circulation are analyzed. The possible effect of negative gross moist stability on the development and dynamics of tropical disturbances is currently of great interest.


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Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems