A comparison of compressible and anelastic models of deep dry convection

Jonathan W. Smith, Peter R. Bannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The response to an instantaneous diabatic warming and the resulting hydrostatic and geostrophic adjustment in compressible and anelastic models is examined. The comparison of the models includes examining the initial conditions, time evolution, potential vorticity, and both the traditional and available energetics. Between the two models, the buoyancy flow fields and potential vorticity perturbations are qualitatively and quantitatively similar. Traditional and available energetics can both be accurately conserved within the models. There are some short-lived (e.g., several minutes) differences in the model solutions as the compressible model undergoes an acoustic adjustment that contains vertically propagating acoustic waves and horizontally propagating Lamb waves. The acoustic waves are effectively eliminated in an upper-level numerical sponge layer using Rayleigh damping. Moreover, the relative computational efficiency and accuracy of the two models are assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4555-4571
Number of pages17
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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