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Cloud Interactions and Merging: Numerical Simulations

Wei-Kuo TaoGoddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

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Joanne SimpsonGoddard Laboratory for Atmospheric Sciences, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

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Abstract

A total of 48 numerical experiments have been performed to study cloud interactions and merging by means of a two-dimensional multi-cell model. Two soundings of deep convection during GATE and two different magnitudes of large-scale lifting.have been used as the initial conditions and as the main forcing on the model.

Over two hundred groups of cloud systems with a life history of over sixty minutes have been generated under the influence of different combinations of the stratification and large-scale lifting. The results demonstrate the increase in convective activity and in amount of precipitation with increased intensity of large-scale lifting. The results also show increased occurrence of cloud merger with increased intensity of large-scale lifting. The most unfavorable environmental conditions for cloud merging are 1) less unstable stratification of the atmosphere and 2) weaker large-scale lifting.

A total of fourteen cloud systems qualify as mergers. Two selected cases will be described dynamically and thermodynamically in this paper. Although these cloud mergers have been simulated under the influence of different synoptic-scale conditions, the major physical mechanism related to the cloud merging process is the same as that proposed by Simpson. Cumulus downdrafts and associated cold outflows play a dominant role in the merging process in all cases studied.

Abstract

A total of 48 numerical experiments have been performed to study cloud interactions and merging by means of a two-dimensional multi-cell model. Two soundings of deep convection during GATE and two different magnitudes of large-scale lifting.have been used as the initial conditions and as the main forcing on the model.

Over two hundred groups of cloud systems with a life history of over sixty minutes have been generated under the influence of different combinations of the stratification and large-scale lifting. The results demonstrate the increase in convective activity and in amount of precipitation with increased intensity of large-scale lifting. The results also show increased occurrence of cloud merger with increased intensity of large-scale lifting. The most unfavorable environmental conditions for cloud merging are 1) less unstable stratification of the atmosphere and 2) weaker large-scale lifting.

A total of fourteen cloud systems qualify as mergers. Two selected cases will be described dynamically and thermodynamically in this paper. Although these cloud mergers have been simulated under the influence of different synoptic-scale conditions, the major physical mechanism related to the cloud merging process is the same as that proposed by Simpson. Cumulus downdrafts and associated cold outflows play a dominant role in the merging process in all cases studied.

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