UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Influence of the cloud shell on tracer budget measurements of LES cloud entrainment. Dawe, Jordan T.; Austin, Philip H.


Direct measurements of rates of entrainment into and detrainment from cumulus cloud cores obtained from LES model cloud fields produce values twice as large as those produced from tracer budget calculations. This difference can be explained by two effects: the presence of a shell of air around the cloud cores that is moister than the mean environment and air at the edge of the cloud core that is drier than the mean core, and the tendency for the mean tracer values of the entrained fluid to be greater than the mean tracer values of the cloud shell. Preferential entrainment of shell air that is moving upward faster than the mean shell creates strong vertical momentum fluxes into the cumulus cloud core, making the assumption that cumulus cloud cores entrain fluid with zero vertical momentum incorrect. Variability in the properties of the moist cloud shell has strong impacts on entrainment values inferred from tracer budget calculations. These results indicate the dynamics of the cloud shell should be included in parametrization of cumulus clouds used in general circulation models. Copyright 2011 American Meteorological Society. Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 USC §108, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the AMS's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, requires written permission or a license form the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy, available on the AMS Web site located at (http://www.ametsoc.org/AMS) or from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or copyright@ametsoc.org.

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