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On Mixing Processes in Continental Cumulus Clouds

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  • 1 Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV 89506
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Abstract

Results are presented from the 1981 Convective Cloud Precipitation Experiment (CCOPE). Aircraft data are analyzed from different flight levels within a convective cloud using the ωqQ mixing diagram (Paluch). Points on this diagram are characterized by updrafts, downdrafts and the variation of the virtual potential temperature at the penetration level. New growth appears to have occurred on the upshear side of the cloud and mixed with all levels in the environment as it ascended. Maintenance of the cloud appears to be depend on a balance between entrainment instability and dynamically forced airflow through cloud base. The results are discussed within the framework of a conceptual model for cloud evolution.

Abstract

Results are presented from the 1981 Convective Cloud Precipitation Experiment (CCOPE). Aircraft data are analyzed from different flight levels within a convective cloud using the ωqQ mixing diagram (Paluch). Points on this diagram are characterized by updrafts, downdrafts and the variation of the virtual potential temperature at the penetration level. New growth appears to have occurred on the upshear side of the cloud and mixed with all levels in the environment as it ascended. Maintenance of the cloud appears to be depend on a balance between entrainment instability and dynamically forced airflow through cloud base. The results are discussed within the framework of a conceptual model for cloud evolution.

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