The shear-parallel and shear-perpendicular linear mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are studied by a three-dimensional nonhydrostatic cloud resolving model. On the basis of previous observational studies, a unique ''reference layer'' can be defined for both MCSs. A shear-parallel MCS can be distinguished from a shear-perpendicular MCS by the shear and moist instability in the reference layer only regardless of the shear at the other levels. This drastically simplifies the problem at hand. The reference …
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