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  • Author or Editor: Casey D. Burleyson x
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Casey D. Burleyson
,
Simon P. de Szoeke
,
Sandra E. Yuter
,
Matt Wilbanks
, and
W. Alan Brewer

Abstract

The diurnal cycle of marine stratocumulus in cloud-topped boundary layers is examined using ship-based meteorological data obtained during the 2008 Variability of American Monsoon Systems (VAMOS) Ocean–Cloud–Atmosphere–Land Study Regional Experiment (VOCALS-REx). The high temporal and spatial continuity of the ship data, as well as the 31-day sample size, allows the diurnal transition in degree of coupling of the stratocumulus-topped boundary layer to be resolved. The amplitude of diurnal variation was comparable to the magnitude of longitudinal differences between regions east and west of 80°W for most of the cloud, surface, and precipitation variables examined. The diurnal cycle of precipitation is examined in terms of areal coverage, number of drizzle cells, and estimated rain rate. East of 80°W, the drizzle cell frequency and drizzle area peaks just prior to sunrise. West of 80°W, total drizzle area peaks at 0300 local solar time (LST), 2–3 h before sunrise. Peak drizzle cell frequency is 3 times higher west of 80°W compared to east of 80°W. The waning of drizzle several hours prior to the ramp up of shortwave fluxes may be related to the higher peak drizzle frequencies in the west. The ensemble effect of localized subcloud evaporation of precipitation may make drizzle a self-limiting process where the areal density of drizzle cells is sufficiently high. The daytime reduction in vertical velocity variance in a less coupled boundary layer is accompanied by enhanced stratification of potential temperature and a buildup of moisture near the surface.

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Katelyn A. Barber
,
Casey D. Burleyson
,
Zhe Feng
, and
Samson M. Hagos

Abstract

In this study, a pair of convection-permitting (2-km grid spacing), month-long, wet-season Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model simulations with and without the eddy-diffusivity mass-flux (EDMF) scheme are performed for a portion of the Green Ocean Amazon (GoAmazon) 2014/15 field campaign period. EDMF produces an ensemble of subgrid-scale convective plumes that evolve in response to the boundary layer meteorological conditions and can develop into shallow clouds. The objective of this study is to determine how different treatments of shallow cumulus clouds (i.e., with and without EDMF) impact the total cloud population and precipitation across the Amazonian rain forest, with emphasis on impacts on the likelihood of shallow-to-deep convection transitions. Results indicate that the large-scale synoptic conditions in the EDMF and control simulations are nearly identical; however, on the local scale their rainfall patterns diverge drastically and the biases decrease in EDMF. The EDMF scheme significantly increases the frequency of shallow clouds, but the frequencies of deep clouds are similar between the simulations. Deep convective clouds are tracked using a cloud-tracking algorithm to examine the impact of shallow cumulus on the surrounding ambient environment where deep convective clouds initiate. Results suggest that a rapid increase of low-level cloudiness acts to cool and moisten the low to midtroposphere during the day, favoring the transition to deep convection.

Open access