Abstract

In this study, more than four years of ground-based observations and retrievals were collected and analyzed to investigate the seasonal and diurnal variations of single-layered MBL (with three subsets: non-drizzling, virga and rain) cloud and drizzle properties, as well as their vertical and horizontal variations. The annual mean drizzle frequency was ∼55%, with ∼70% in winter and ∼45% in summer. The cloud-top (-base) height for rain clouds was the highest (lowest), resulted in the deepest cloud layer (0.8 km), which is four (two) times of non-drizzling (virga) clouds. The retrieved cloud-droplet effective radii (rc) were the largest (smallest) for rain (non-drizzling) clouds, and the nighttime values were greater than the daytime values. Drizzle number concentration (Nd) and liquid water content (LWCd) were three and one order(s) lower than their cloud counterparts. The rc and LWCc increased from the cloud base to 𝑧𝑖 = ∼0.75 by condensational growth, while drizzle median radii (rd) increased from the cloud top downwards the cloud base by collision-coalescence. The adiabaticity values monotonically increased from the cloud top to the cloud base with maxima of ∼0.7 (0.3) for non-drizzling (rain) clouds. The drizzling process decreases the adiabaticity by 0.25 to 0.4, and the cloud-top entrainment mixing impacts as deep as upper 40% of the cloud layers. Cloud and drizzle homogeneities decreased with increased horizontal sampling lengths. Cloud homogeneity increases with increasing cloud fraction. These results can serve as baselines for studying MBL cloud-to-rain conversion and growth processes over the Azores.

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