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Journal Article

Spontaneous aggregation of convective storms


Hohenegger,  Cathy
Precipitating Convection, The Atmosphere in the Earth System, MPI for Meteorology, Max Planck Society;

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Muller, C., Yang, D., Craig, G., Cronin, T., Fildier, B., Haerter, J., et al. (2022). Spontaneous aggregation of convective storms. Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, 54, 133-157. doi:10.1146/annurev-fluid-022421-011319.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-E021-4
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. © 2021 Annual Reviews Inc.. All rights reserved.