Statistical Properties of a Cloud Ensemble: A Numerical Study

View More View Less
  • 1 General Sciences Corporation, Laurel, MD 20707
  • | 2 Laboratory for Atmospheres, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771
  • | 3 Depanment of land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, CA 95616
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

Two- and three-dimensional configurations of a cloud ensemble model are used to study the statistical properties of cloud ensembles under an observed large-scale condition. The basic design of the model has been presented in papers by Soong, Ogura, and Tao. An observed large-scale lifting and small amplitude random perturbations in the form of temperature fluctuations are imposed continuously in the model. The model then allows many clouds of different sizes to develop simultaneously. A 6-hour time integration is made to allow a large number of convective clouds to develop. After the model integration, horizontal and time averages of various relevant variables are computed to elucidate the statistical properties of clouds. The model is applied to the case of a well-organized intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) rainband that occurred on 12 August 1974, during the Global Atmospheric Research Program's Atlantic Tropical Experiment.

The statistical properties of clouds, such as mass flux by cloud drafts and vertical velocity as well as condensation and evaporation associated with these cloud drafts are examined in this study. The cloud drafts are further subclassified as inactive and active. Separate contributions to cloud statistics in areas of different cloud activity are then evaluated. The model results compared well with those obtained from aircraft measurements. Some implications of model results to the cumulus parameterization problem are briefly discussed. A comparison between the two- and three-dimensional model simulations is also made.

Abstract

Two- and three-dimensional configurations of a cloud ensemble model are used to study the statistical properties of cloud ensembles under an observed large-scale condition. The basic design of the model has been presented in papers by Soong, Ogura, and Tao. An observed large-scale lifting and small amplitude random perturbations in the form of temperature fluctuations are imposed continuously in the model. The model then allows many clouds of different sizes to develop simultaneously. A 6-hour time integration is made to allow a large number of convective clouds to develop. After the model integration, horizontal and time averages of various relevant variables are computed to elucidate the statistical properties of clouds. The model is applied to the case of a well-organized intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) rainband that occurred on 12 August 1974, during the Global Atmospheric Research Program's Atlantic Tropical Experiment.

The statistical properties of clouds, such as mass flux by cloud drafts and vertical velocity as well as condensation and evaporation associated with these cloud drafts are examined in this study. The cloud drafts are further subclassified as inactive and active. Separate contributions to cloud statistics in areas of different cloud activity are then evaluated. The model results compared well with those obtained from aircraft measurements. Some implications of model results to the cumulus parameterization problem are briefly discussed. A comparison between the two- and three-dimensional model simulations is also made.

Save