This paper discusses the turbulence profiles and budgets for two days of radiation, dynamical and thermodynamical observations by the NCAR Electra in shallow marine stratocumulus off the California coast in June 1976.
The boundary layer is characterized by relatively high wind speeds (12–20 m s−1) and low liquid water contents (0.1 g kg−1); the clouds are not very convective and seem to have little influence on the turbulence budgets. In cloud, drizzle has a significant impact on the liquid water budget and occasionally even on the total water budget even though no drizzle is observed at the surface. The stresses, velocity variances, and their budgets behave as in a neutral boundary layer, sometimes with an additional peak in the cross-wind variance at the inversion due to shear production.
There is scant evidence of direct production of vertical velocity variance at cloud top due to radiative cooling or latent heat release; it is maintained principally by the pressure-scrambling terms through redistribution of the shear-produced energy. We find, however, that while the Rotta parameterization for pressure scrambling in the stress budgets works well near the surface and sometimes throughout the layer, it is unsatisfactory in the variance budgets.
Fluctuations of temperature and moisture on a scale of several hundred meters in cloud satisfy the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. When the boundary layer is well mixed in equivalent potential temperature and total water substance, the vertical turbulent fluxes of these quantities are usually almost linear. The efficiency of cloud-top radiative cooling in producing mixed-layer convection is also discussed.