Entrainment into a Stratocumulus Layer with Distributed Radiative Cooling

View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Meteorology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, 02139
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

It is shown that the radiative cooling of a cloud layer strongly influences the turbulent flux profiles and the entrainment rate, and that the radiative cooling should be modeled as acting inside the turbulent layer. Numerical experiments demonstrate that a cloud-topped mixed-layer model, similar to that of Lilly (1968), is quite sensitive to δpR, the depth of the radiatively cooled layer near cloud top. As δpR increases, the model’s sensitivity to the entrainment assumption is markedly heightened. More specifically, for large δpR the cloud top and cloud base rise dramatically as the entrainment parameter k is increased, while for small δpR an increase in k has almost no effect. The model is most sensitive to ΔpR precisely for the cold-water, strong-divergence regime of greatest interest.

Abstract

It is shown that the radiative cooling of a cloud layer strongly influences the turbulent flux profiles and the entrainment rate, and that the radiative cooling should be modeled as acting inside the turbulent layer. Numerical experiments demonstrate that a cloud-topped mixed-layer model, similar to that of Lilly (1968), is quite sensitive to δpR, the depth of the radiatively cooled layer near cloud top. As δpR increases, the model’s sensitivity to the entrainment assumption is markedly heightened. More specifically, for large δpR the cloud top and cloud base rise dramatically as the entrainment parameter k is increased, while for small δpR an increase in k has almost no effect. The model is most sensitive to ΔpR precisely for the cold-water, strong-divergence regime of greatest interest.

Save