Browse

You are looking at 31 - 40 of 12,513 items for :

  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All
Alessandro C. M. Savazzi
,
Louise Nuijens
,
Wim de Rooy
,
Martin Janssens
, and
A. Pier Siebesma

Abstract

This study investigates momentum transport in shallow cumulus clouds as simulated with the Dutch Atmospheric Large Eddy Simulation (DALES) for a 150 × 150 km2 domain east of Barbados during 9 days of EUREC4A. DALES is initialized and forced with the mesoscale weather model HARMONIE–AROME and subjectively reproduces observed cloud patterns. This study examines the evolution of momentum transport, which scales contribute to it, and how they modulate the trade winds. Daily-mean momentum flux profiles show downgradient zonal momentum transport in the subcloud layer, which turns countergradient in the cloud layer. The meridional momentum transport is nontrivial, with mostly downgradient transport throughout the trade wind layer except near the top of the surface layer and near cloud tops. Substantial spatial and temporal heterogeneity in momentum flux is observed with much stronger tendencies imposed in areas of organized convection. The study finds that while scales < 2 km dominate momentum flux at 200 m in unorganized fields, submesoscales O ( 2–2 0 ) km carry up to 50% of the zonal momentum flux in the cloud layer in organized fields. For the meridional momentum flux, this fraction is even larger near the surface and in the subcloud layer. The scale dependence of the momentum flux is not explained by changes in convective or boundary layer depth. Instead, the results suggest the importance of spatial heterogeneity, increasing horizontal length scales, and countergradient transport in the presence of organized convection.

Open access
Jun-Ichi Yano
and
Marta Wacławczyk

Abstract

The symmetries of the governing equations of atmospheric flows constrain the solutions. The present study applies those symmetries identified from the governing equations to the atmospheric boundary layers under relatively weak stratifications (stable and unstable). More specifically, the invariant solutions are analyzed, which conserve their forms under possible symmetry transformations of a governing equation system. The key question is whether those invariant solutions can rederive the known vertical profiles of both vertical fluxes and the means for the horizontal wind and the potential temperature. The mean profiles for the wind and the potential temperature in the surface layer predicted from the Monin–Obukhov theory can be recovered as invariant solutions. However, the consistent vertical fluxes both for the momentum and heat no longer remain constant with height, as assumed in the Monin–Obukhov theory, but linearly and parabolically change with height over the dynamic sublayer and the above, respectively, in stable conditions. The present study suggests that a deviation from the constancy, though observationally known to be weak, is a crucial part of the surface-layer dynamics to maintain its symmetry consistency.

Significance Statement

The atmospheric flows are governed by a differential equation system, which is often difficult to solve in any satisfactory manner, either analytically or numerically. However, without solving them explicitly, many insights can be obtained by examining the “symmetries” of the governing equations. The study suggests that basic vertical profiles of the mean state of the atmospheric boundary layer is more strongly constrained by the symmetry consistency than suggested by standard similarity theories.

Open access
Jesse C. Anderson
,
Ian Helman
,
Raymond A. Shaw
, and
Will Cantrell

Abstract

Water vapor supersaturation in clouds is a random variable that drives activation and growth of cloud droplets. The Pi Convection–Cloud Chamber generates a turbulent cloud with a microphysical steady state that can be varied from clean to polluted by adjusting the aerosol injection rate. The supersaturation distribution and its moments, e.g., mean and variance, are investigated for varying cloud microphysical conditions. High-speed and collocated Eulerian measurements of temperature and water vapor concentration are combined to obtain the temporally resolved supersaturation distribution. This allows quantification of the contributions of variances and covariances between water vapor and temperature. Results are consistent with expectations for a convection chamber, with strong correlation between water vapor and temperature; departures from ideal behavior can be explained as resulting from dry regions on the warm boundary, analogous to entrainment. The saturation ratio distribution is measured under conditions that show monotonic increase of liquid water content and decrease of mean droplet diameter with increasing aerosol injection rate. The change in liquid water content is proportional to the change in water vapor concentration between no-cloud and cloudy conditions. Variability in the supersaturation remains even after cloud droplets are formed, and no significant buffering is observed. Results are interpreted in terms of a cloud microphysical Damköhler number (Da), under conditions corresponding to Da 1 , i.e., the slow-microphysics regime. This implies that clouds with very clean regions, such that Da 1 is satisfied, will experience supersaturation fluctuations without them being buffered by cloud droplet growth.

Significance Statement

The saturation ratio (humidity) in clouds controls the growth rate and formation of cloud droplets. When air in a turbulent cloud mixes, the humidity varies in space and time throughout the cloud. This is important because it means cloud droplets experience different growth histories, thereby resulting in broader size distributions. It is often assumed that growth and evaporation of cloud droplets buffers out some of the humidity variations. Measuring these variations has been difficult, especially in the field. The purpose of this study is to measure the saturation ratio distribution in clouds with a range of conditions. We measure the in-cloud saturation ratio using a convection cloud chamber with clean to polluted cloud properties. We found in clouds with low concentrations of droplets that the variations in the saturation ratio are not suppressed.

Restricted access
Andrew J. Muehr
,
James H. Ruppert
,
Matthew D. Flournoy
, and
John M. Peters

Abstract

Large midlevel (3–6 km AGL) shear is commonly observed in supercell environments. However, any possible influence of midlevel shear on an updraft has been relatively unexplored until now. To investigate, we ran 10 simulations of supercells in a range of environments with varying midlevel shear magnitudes. In most cases, larger midlevel shear results in a storm motion that is faster relative to the low-level hodograph, meaning that larger midlevel shear leads to stronger low-level storm-relative flow. Because they are physically connected, we present an analysis of the effects of both midlevel shear and low-level storm-relative flow on supercell updraft dynamics. Larger midlevel shear does not lead to an increase in cohesive updraft rotation. The tilting of midlevel environmental vorticity does lead to localized areas of larger vertical vorticity on the southern edge of the updraft, but any dynamical influence of this is overshadowed by that of much larger horizontal vorticity in the same area associated with rotor-like circulations. This storm-generated horizontal vorticity is the primary driver behind lower nonlinear dynamic pressure on the southern flank of the midlevel updraft when midlevel shear and low-level storm-relative flow are larger, which leads to a larger nonlinear dynamic pressure acceleration in those cases. Storm-generated horizontal vorticity is responsible for the lowest nonlinear dynamic pressure anywhere in the midlevel updraft, unless the mesocyclone becomes particularly intense. These results clarify the influence of midlevel shear on a supercell thunderstorm, and provide additional insight on the role of low-level storm-relative flow on updraft dynamics.

Significance Statement

Persistent rotation in supercell thunderstorms results from the tilting of horizontal spin into the vertical direction. This initially horizontal spin is the result of shear, which is a change in wind speed and/or direction with height. More shear in the layer 0–3 km above ground level is well understood to lead to stronger rotation within the storm, but the influence of shear in the 3–6-km layer is unclear and is investigated here. We find that horizontal spin originating in the 3–6-km layer has little impact on vertically oriented thunderstorm rotation. Instead, intense regions of horizontal spin that are generated by the storm itself (rather than having originated from the background environment) dominate storm dynamics at midlevels.

Restricted access
Yang Yang
,
X. San Liang
, and
Wei-Bang He

Abstract

Motivated by the observation that the interannual variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is associated with the ensemble emergence of individual NAO events occurring on the intraseasonal time scale, one naturally wonders how the intraseasonal processes cause the interannual variability and what the dynamics are underlying the multiscale interaction. Using a novel time-dependent and spatially localized multiscale energetics formalism, this study investigates the dynamical sources for the NAO events with different phases and interannual regimes. For the positive-phase events (NAO+), the intraseasonal-scale kinetic energy (K 1) over the North Atlantic sector is significantly enhanced for NAO+ occurring in the negative NAO winter regime (NW), compared to those in the positive winter regime (PW). It is caused by the enhanced inverse cascading from synoptic transients and reduced energy dispersion during the life cycle of NAO+ in NW. For the negative-phase events (NAO), K 1 is significantly larger during the early and decay stages of NAO in NW than that in PW, whereas the reverse occurs in the peak stage. Inverse cascading and baroclinic energy conversion are primary drivers in the formation of the excessive K 1 during the early stage of NAO in NW, whereas only the latter contributes to the larger K 1 during the decay stage of NAO in NW compared to that in PW. The barotropic transfer from the mean flow, inverse cascading, and baroclinic energy conversion are all responsible for the strengthened K 1 in the peak stage of NAO in PW.

Restricted access
Manuel Santos Gutiérrez
and
Kalli Furtado

Abstract

The supersaturation equation for a vertically moving adiabatic cloud parcel is analyzed. The effects of turbulent updrafts are incorporated in the shape of a stochastic Lagrangian model, with spatial and time correlations expressed in terms of turbulent kinetic energy. Using the Fokker–Planck equation, the steady-state probability distributions of supersaturation are analytically computed for a number of approximations involving the time-scale separation between updraft fluctuations and phase relaxation, and droplet or ice particle size fluctuations. While the analytical results are presented in general for single-phase clouds, the calculated distributions are used to compute mixed-phase cloud properties—mixed fraction and mean liquid water content in an initially icy cloud—and are argued to be useful for generalizing and constructing new parameterization schemes.

Significance Statement

Supersaturation is the fuel for the development of clouds in the atmosphere. In this paper, our goal is to better understand the supersaturation budget of clouds embedded in a turbulent environment by analyzing the basic equations of cloud microphysics. It is found that the turbulent characteristics of an air parcel substantially affect the cloud’s supersaturation budget and hence its life cycle. This is also shown in the context of mixed-phase clouds where, depending on the turbulent regime, different liquid-to-ice ratios are found. Consequently, the theoretical approach of this paper is crucial to develop tools to parameterize small-scale atmospheric features, like clouds, into global circulation models to improve climate projections for the future.

Open access
Chia Rui Ong
,
Makoto Koike
,
Tempei Hashino
, and
Hiroaki Miura

Abstract

In simulations of Arctic mixed-phase clouds, cloud persistence and the liquid water path (LWP) are sensitive to ice particle number concentrations. Here, we explore sensitivities of cloud microphysical properties to the dominant ice particle shape (dendrites, plates, columns, or spheres) using the SCALE-AMPS large-eddy simulation model. AMPS is a bin microphysics scheme that predicts particle shapes based on the inherent growth ratio (IGR) of spheroids, which determines vapor depositional growth rates along the a and c axes, and the rimed and aggregate mass fractions. We examine the impacts of various IGR values on simulations of clouds observed during the M-PACE and SHEBA experiments. Under M-PACE (SHEBA) conditions, LWP varies between 49 (1.1) and 230 (6.7) g m−2, and the ice water path (IWP) varies between 3 (0.03) and 40 (0.12) g m−2, depending on the ice shape. The lowest LWP and the highest IWP are obtained when columnar particles dominate because their low terminal velocities and large capacitance and collisional area result in large vapor deposition and riming rates, whereas the highest LWP and lowest IWP are obtained when spherical particles dominate because their vapor deposition and riming rates are low. Because ice particle shape significantly influences simulated Arctic mixed-phase clouds, reliable simulations require accurately estimated IGR values under various atmospheric conditions. Finally, comparisons between the simulation results and observations show that the size distribution larger than 2000 μm is better reproduced when the increase in rimed mass that causes ice particles to become spherical is suppressed.

Significance Statement

Atmospheric models have difficulties in reproducing Arctic mixed-phase clouds because of uncertainties in the parameterization of microphysical processes. This is the first study to use a large-eddy simulation model implemented with a habit-predicting bin microphysics scheme to demonstrate the important role of ice particle shape on the microphysical properties of both heavy-riming and no-riming mixed-phase clouds. We found the vapor deposition and riming rates to be greatly influenced by ice particle shape. By comparing the ice particle size distribution, mass–diameter relationship, and area ratio between simulation results and observations, we show that a hexagonal ice shape model and a riming model that simply converts ice crystals to graupel may not accurately reproduce actual heavy-riming clouds.

Open access
I. Chunchuzov
,
O. Chkhetiani
,
S. Kulichkov
,
O. Popov
,
B. Belan
,
A. Fofonov
,
G. Ivlev
, and
A. Kozlov

Abstract

The results of airborne measurements and statistical characteristics of mesoscale fluctuations of wind velocity, temperature, and concentrations of gas constituents at different heights of a stably stratified troposphere are presented. The measurements were carried out in September 2022 in the Arctic region of Russia with the aircraft laboratory Tu-134 “Optik.” The obtained spectra and structure functions of the fluctuations are interpreted with the theoretical model of formation of the spectrum of mesoscale wind velocity and temperature fluctuations described in the paper. The presence at high wavenumbers of a steep section in the obtained horizontal wavenumber spectra of the fluctuations of wind velocity and greenhouse gas concentration with a slope close to −3 is discussed. The fluctuation spectra along different slanted tracks of the aircraft crossing the tropospheric layer between altitudes of 1 and 9 km are also obtained and analyzed with the theoretical model.

Restricted access
Hua Zhang
,
Haibo Wang
,
Yangang Liu
,
Xianwen Jing
, and
Yi Liu

Abstract

Cloud albedo is expected to influence cloud radiative forcing in addition to cloud fraction, and inadequate description of the cloud overlapping effects on the cloud fraction may influence the simulated cloud fraction, and thus the relative cloud radiative forcing (RCRF) and cloud albedo. In this study, we first present a new formula by extending that presented previously to consider multilayer clouds directly in the relationship between cloud albedo, cloud fraction, and RCRF, and then quantitatively evaluate the effects of different cloud vertical overlapping structures, represented by the decorrelation length scales (L cf), on the simulated cloud albedos. We use the BCC_AGCM2.0_CUACE/Aero model with simultaneous validation by observations from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiation Energy System (CERES) satellite. When L cf < 4 km (i.e., the cloud overlap is closer to the random overlap), the simulated cloud albedos are generally in good agreement with the satellite-based albedos for December–February and June–August; when L cf ≥ 4 km (i.e., the cloud vertical overlap is closer to the maximum overlap), the difference between simulated and observed cloud albedos became larger, due mainly to significant differences in cloud fractions and RCRF. Further quantitative analysis shows that the relative Euclidean distance, which represents the degree of overall model–observation disagreement, increases with the L cf for all three variables (cloud albedo, cloud fraction, and RCRF), indicating the importance of cloud vertical overlapping in determining the accuracy of the calculated cloud albedo for multilayer clouds.

Significance Statement

The purpose of this study is presenting a new formula to consider multilayer clouds directly in the relationship between cloud albedo, cloud fraction, and relative cloud radiative forcing (RCRF). This is important because the effects of different cloud vertical overlapping structures, represented by the decorrelation length scales (L cf), can affect the simulated cloud albedos. Our results provide a guide on the importance of cloud vertical overlapping in determining the accuracy of the calculated cloud albedo for multilayer clouds.

Restricted access
J. Federico Conte
,
Jorge L. Chau
,
Erdal Yiğit
,
José Suclupe
, and
Rodolfo Rodríguez

Abstract

One year of Spread spectrum Interferometric Multistatic meteor radar Observing Network (SIMONe) measurements are analyzed and compared for the first time between two low-latitude locations in Peru: Jicamarca (12°S, 77°W) and Piura (5°S, 80°W). Investigation of the mean horizontal winds and tides reveals that mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT) planetary-scale dynamics are similar between these two locations, although differences can be seen in some tidal components, e.g., the diurnal tide. On the other hand, 28-day median values of the momentum fluxes obtained with 4-h, 4-km time–altitude bins indicate that the mesoscale dynamics differ significantly between Jicamarca and Piura, places separated by approximately 850 km. From the middle of July until October 2021, a strong acceleration of the background zonal wind by westward-propagating gravity waves (GWs) is observed above ∼90 km at both locations, although with larger amplitudes over Jicamarca. From the middle of January until April 2022, a second strong acceleration of the background zonal wind, again by westward-propagating GWs, is observed, but this time with larger amplitudes over Piura. The latter is further supported by the dominance of negative vertical gradients of the zonal momentum flux above 89 km of altitude. Thus, these results observationally confirm the previous studies based on general circulation model simulations indicating that the directions of the zonal GW drag and the zonal background wind coincide in the low-latitude MLT. The weak correlations between the horizontal wind gradients over Jicamarca and Piura reinforce the fact that the mesoscale dynamics are different at these two locations.

Open access