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The Evolution of Raindrop Spectra. Part III: Downdraft Generation in an Axisymmetrical Rainshaft Model

Graham FeingoldDept. of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

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Zev LevinDept. of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

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Shalva Tzivion (Tzitzvashvili)Dept. of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Israel

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Abstract

The evolution of raindrop spectra below cloud base in subsaturated atmospheres is traced with the aid of an axisymmetrical rainshaft model which includes the detailed warm microphysical treatment presented in parts I and II of this series. As input to the model, a stationary cloud provides rainfall with a predetermined drop spectrum. Mass loading and evaporative cooling generate downdrafts below cloud base. For near-adiabatic lapse rates and moderate mass loading, microbursts develop. For a given liquid water content, the magnitude of these downdrafts depends primarily on the lapse rate of temperature, but also on the drop spectrum injected at cloud base. For a given liquid water content, spectra comprising a relatively large number of small drops tend to generate significantly stronger downdrafts than spectra with a greater component of large drops. It is shown that drop collection and breakup may also affect the magnitude of the generated downdrafts significantly. When spectra comprising mainly small drops evolve to create larger drops, or when spectra comprising mainly large drops evolve to create smaller drops, neglect of collection and breakup can modify the downdrafts by up to about 50%. It is shown that in a steady state situation the drop spectra evolve toward bi- or trimodal spectra as predicted by simple rainshaft models with fixed dynamics.

Abstract

The evolution of raindrop spectra below cloud base in subsaturated atmospheres is traced with the aid of an axisymmetrical rainshaft model which includes the detailed warm microphysical treatment presented in parts I and II of this series. As input to the model, a stationary cloud provides rainfall with a predetermined drop spectrum. Mass loading and evaporative cooling generate downdrafts below cloud base. For near-adiabatic lapse rates and moderate mass loading, microbursts develop. For a given liquid water content, the magnitude of these downdrafts depends primarily on the lapse rate of temperature, but also on the drop spectrum injected at cloud base. For a given liquid water content, spectra comprising a relatively large number of small drops tend to generate significantly stronger downdrafts than spectra with a greater component of large drops. It is shown that drop collection and breakup may also affect the magnitude of the generated downdrafts significantly. When spectra comprising mainly small drops evolve to create larger drops, or when spectra comprising mainly large drops evolve to create smaller drops, neglect of collection and breakup can modify the downdrafts by up to about 50%. It is shown that in a steady state situation the drop spectra evolve toward bi- or trimodal spectra as predicted by simple rainshaft models with fixed dynamics.

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