Response of Deep Tropical Cumulus Clouds to Mesoscale Processes

View More View Less
  • 1 Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

The two-dimensional cloud ensemble model developed by Soong and Ogura (1980) is used to simulate the response of deep clouds to mesoscale lifting using data obtained in the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP) Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE). The input to the model includes the mesoscale vertical velocity, horizontal advections of temperature and mixing ratio of water vapor, radiative cooling and sea surface temperature. The cloud ensemble feedback effects due to the condensation and evaporation of cloud liquid drops and vertical fluxes of heat and moisture are determined by the model.

The simulated upward mass flux inside the model clouds is about three times the mass flux due to mesoscale lifting. The downward mass flux inside clouds is also large, leaving a small downward mass flux in the cloud-free area. The major portion of the heat flux is produced by the updraft inside clouds. On the other hand, the moisture fluxes due to both updraft and downdraft are important. In the cloud-free area, the heat and moisture fluxes are both small due to the small mass flux in that area.

Experiments with different magnitudes of mesoscale lifting generate different sizes of clouds and different cloud heating and moistening profiles. However, in each simulation, the changes of temperature and mixing ratio due to mesoscale processes are almost balanced by the cloud heating and drying effects, leaving only small temporal changes in the horizontal mean temperature and mixing ratio.

In a simulation with only low-level lifting, a warming is generated in the middle levels. This warming can be important in producing higher level vertical lifting, which in turn could produce even higher clouds.

Abstract

The two-dimensional cloud ensemble model developed by Soong and Ogura (1980) is used to simulate the response of deep clouds to mesoscale lifting using data obtained in the Global Atmospheric Research Program (GARP) Atlantic Tropical Experiment (GATE). The input to the model includes the mesoscale vertical velocity, horizontal advections of temperature and mixing ratio of water vapor, radiative cooling and sea surface temperature. The cloud ensemble feedback effects due to the condensation and evaporation of cloud liquid drops and vertical fluxes of heat and moisture are determined by the model.

The simulated upward mass flux inside the model clouds is about three times the mass flux due to mesoscale lifting. The downward mass flux inside clouds is also large, leaving a small downward mass flux in the cloud-free area. The major portion of the heat flux is produced by the updraft inside clouds. On the other hand, the moisture fluxes due to both updraft and downdraft are important. In the cloud-free area, the heat and moisture fluxes are both small due to the small mass flux in that area.

Experiments with different magnitudes of mesoscale lifting generate different sizes of clouds and different cloud heating and moistening profiles. However, in each simulation, the changes of temperature and mixing ratio due to mesoscale processes are almost balanced by the cloud heating and drying effects, leaving only small temporal changes in the horizontal mean temperature and mixing ratio.

In a simulation with only low-level lifting, a warming is generated in the middle levels. This warming can be important in producing higher level vertical lifting, which in turn could produce even higher clouds.

Save