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Journal Articles Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics Year : 2022

Spontaneous Aggregation of Convective Storms

Da Yang
  • Function : Author
George Craig
  • Function : Author
Timothy Cronin
  • Function : Author
Jan O. Haerter
  • Function : Author
Cathy Hohenegger
  • Function : Author
Brian Mapes
  • Function : Author
David Randall
  • Function : Author
Sara Shamekh
  • Function : Author
Steven C. Sherwood
  • Function : Author


Idealized simulations of the tropical atmosphere have predicted that clouds can spontaneously clump together in space, despite perfectly homogeneous settings. This phenomenon has been called self-aggregation, and it results in a state where a moist cloudy region with intense deep convectivestorms is surrounded by extremely dry subsiding air devoid of deep clouds. We review here the main findings from theoretical work and idealized models of this phenomenon, highlighting the physical processes believed to play a key role in convective self-aggregation. We also review the growing literature on the importance and implications of this phenomenon for the tropical atmosphere, notably, for the hydrological cycle and for precipitation extremes, in our current and in a warming climate.

Dates and versions

insu-03847129 , version 1 (10-11-2022)



Caroline Muller, Da Yang, George Craig, Timothy Cronin, Benjamin Fildier, et al.. Spontaneous Aggregation of Convective Storms. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 2022, 54, pp.133-157. ⟨10.1146/annurev-fluid-022421-011319⟩. ⟨insu-03847129⟩
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