Some Evidence of the Effects of Convection on the Structure of the Tropical Subcloud Layer

Ward R. Seguin Center for Experiment Design and Data Analysis, NOAA, Washington, D. C. 20235

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M. Garstang Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22903

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Abstract

Profiles of temperature and specific humidity and derived thermodynamic variables are presented, based on aircraft soundings of the tropical oceanic subcloud layer during the 1968 Barbados Experiment. The profiles show the results of strong cloud-subcloud layer coupling. In the vicinity of intense cumulus convection, the subcloud layer is strongly stabilized and diluted by cumulus clouds and the areas extent of this modification is large. The implications are that in this region the turbulent vertical transport of latent and sensible heat energy and the small-scale turbulence responsible for the transport are suppressed.

Abstract

Profiles of temperature and specific humidity and derived thermodynamic variables are presented, based on aircraft soundings of the tropical oceanic subcloud layer during the 1968 Barbados Experiment. The profiles show the results of strong cloud-subcloud layer coupling. In the vicinity of intense cumulus convection, the subcloud layer is strongly stabilized and diluted by cumulus clouds and the areas extent of this modification is large. The implications are that in this region the turbulent vertical transport of latent and sensible heat energy and the small-scale turbulence responsible for the transport are suppressed.

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