An Empirical Examination of Cumulus Entrainment

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  • 1 University of Chicago, Ill.
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Abstract

Most analytic theories and laboratory models of cumulus entrainment predict that the rate of influx of ambient fluid into a convective element depends inversely on the diameter of the updraft zone. A study of 15 continental cumulus congestus clouds containing apparent bubble-like rising elements failed to demonstrate the predicted radius dependence. Application of a standard one-dimensional entrainment computation to the measured cloud and environment conditions revealed no significant correlation between cloud dimensions and entrainment.

Abstract

Most analytic theories and laboratory models of cumulus entrainment predict that the rate of influx of ambient fluid into a convective element depends inversely on the diameter of the updraft zone. A study of 15 continental cumulus congestus clouds containing apparent bubble-like rising elements failed to demonstrate the predicted radius dependence. Application of a standard one-dimensional entrainment computation to the measured cloud and environment conditions revealed no significant correlation between cloud dimensions and entrainment.

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