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Matthias Voigt
and
Volkmar Wirth

Abstract

Banner clouds are clouds in the lee of steep mountains or sharp ridges. Their formation has previously been hypothesized as due to three different mechanisms: (i) vertical uplift in a lee vortex (which has a horizontal axis), (ii) adiabatic expansion along quasi-horizontal trajectories (the so-called Bernoulli effect), and (iii) a mixing cloud (i.e., condensation through mixing of two unsaturated air masses).

In the present work, these hypotheses are tested and quantitatively evaluated against each other by means of large-eddy simulation. The model setup is chosen such as to represent idealized but prototypical conditions for banner cloud formation. In this setup the lee-vortex mechanism is clearly the dominant mechanism for banner cloud formation. An essential aspect is the pronounced windward–leeward asymmetry in the Lagrangian vertical uplift with a plume of large positive values in the immediate lee of the mountain; this allows the region in the lee to tap moister air from closer to the surface. By comparison, the horizontal pressure perturbation is more than two orders of magnitude smaller than the pressure drop along a trajectory in the rising branch of the lee vortex; the “Bernoulli mechanism” is, therefore, very unlikely to be a primary mechanism. Banner clouds are unlikely to be “mixing clouds” in the strict sense of their definition. However, turbulent mixing may lead to small but nonnegligible moistening of parcels along time-mean trajectories; although not of primary importance, the latter may be considered as a modifying factor to existing banner clouds.

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Manfred Wendisch
,
Ulrich Pöschl
,
Meinrat O. Andreae
,
Luiz A. T. Machado
,
Rachel Albrecht
,
Hans Schlager
,
Daniel Rosenfeld
,
Scot T. Martin
,
Ahmed Abdelmonem
,
Armin Afchine
,
Alessandro C. Araùjo
,
Paulo Artaxo
,
Heinfried Aufmhoff
,
Henrique M. J. Barbosa
,
Stephan Borrmann
,
Ramon Braga
,
Bernhard Buchholz
,
Micael Amore Cecchini
,
Anja Costa
,
Joachim Curtius
,
Maximilian Dollner
,
Marcel Dorf
,
Volker Dreiling
,
Volker Ebert
,
André Ehrlich
,
Florian Ewald
,
Gilberto Fisch
,
Andreas Fix
,
Fabian Frank
,
Daniel Fütterer
,
Christopher Heckl
,
Fabian Heidelberg
,
Tilman Hüneke
,
Evelyn Jäkel
,
Emma Järvinen
,
Tina Jurkat
,
Sandra Kanter
,
Udo Kästner
,
Mareike Kenntner
,
Jürgen Kesselmeier
,
Thomas Klimach
,
Matthias Knecht
,
Rebecca Kohl
,
Tobias Kölling
,
Martina Krämer
,
Mira Krüger
,
Trismono Candra Krisna
,
Jost V. Lavric
,
Karla Longo
,
Christoph Mahnke
,
Antonio O. Manzi
,
Bernhard Mayer
,
Stephan Mertes
,
Andreas Minikin
,
Sergej Molleker
,
Steffen Münch
,
Björn Nillius
,
Klaus Pfeilsticker
,
Christopher Pöhlker
,
Anke Roiger
,
Diana Rose
,
Dagmar Rosenow
,
Daniel Sauer
,
Martin Schnaiter
,
Johannes Schneider
,
Christiane Schulz
,
Rodrigo A. F. de Souza
,
Antonio Spanu
,
Paul Stock
,
Daniel Vila
,
Christiane Voigt
,
Adrian Walser
,
David Walter
,
Ralf Weigel
,
Bernadett Weinzierl
,
Frank Werner
,
Marcia A. Yamasoe
,
Helmut Ziereis
,
Tobias Zinner
, and
Martin Zöger

Abstract

Between 1 September and 4 October 2014, a combined airborne and ground-based measurement campaign was conducted to study tropical deep convective clouds over the Brazilian Amazon rain forest. The new German research aircraft, High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft (HALO), a modified Gulfstream G550, and extensive ground-based instrumentation were deployed in and near Manaus (State of Amazonas). The campaign was part of the German–Brazilian Aerosol, Cloud, Precipitation, and Radiation Interactions and Dynamics of Convective Cloud Systems–Cloud Processes of the Main Precipitation Systems in Brazil: A Contribution to Cloud Resolving Modeling and to the GPM (Global Precipitation Measurement) (ACRIDICON– CHUVA) venture to quantify aerosol–cloud–precipitation interactions and their thermodynamic, dynamic, and radiative effects by in situ and remote sensing measurements over Amazonia. The ACRIDICON–CHUVA field observations were carried out in cooperation with the second intensive operating period of Green Ocean Amazon 2014/15 (GoAmazon2014/5). In this paper we focus on the airborne data measured on HALO, which was equipped with about 30 in situ and remote sensing instruments for meteorological, trace gas, aerosol, cloud, precipitation, and spectral solar radiation measurements. Fourteen research flights with a total duration of 96 flight hours were performed. Five scientific topics were pursued: 1) cloud vertical evolution and life cycle (cloud profiling), 2) cloud processing of aerosol particles and trace gases (inflow and outflow), 3) satellite and radar validation (cloud products), 4) vertical transport and mixing (tracer experiment), and 5) cloud formation over forested/deforested areas. Data were collected in near-pristine atmospheric conditions and in environments polluted by biomass burning and urban emissions. The paper presents a general introduction of the ACRIDICON– CHUVA campaign (motivation and addressed research topics) and of HALO with its extensive instrument package, as well as a presentation of a few selected measurement results acquired during the flights for some selected scientific topics.

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