Buoyant Forcing within the Marine Stratocumulus-topped Boundary Layer

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
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Abstract

A marine stratocumulus experiment was conducted off the coast of southern California during June and July 1987 as part of the First ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) Regional Experiment (FIRE). This investigation addresses the FIRE goal of enhancing our understanding of the buoyant production/destruction of turbulent kinetic energy within the marine stratocumulus-topped boundary layer through an analysis of the vertical profiles of buoyancy flux collected by the NCAR Electra aircraft. The FIRE boundary layers were observed to span the range of buoyant forcing possibilities from nearly pure surface-forced convection through nearly pure cloud top-forced convection.

Abstract

A marine stratocumulus experiment was conducted off the coast of southern California during June and July 1987 as part of the First ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) Regional Experiment (FIRE). This investigation addresses the FIRE goal of enhancing our understanding of the buoyant production/destruction of turbulent kinetic energy within the marine stratocumulus-topped boundary layer through an analysis of the vertical profiles of buoyancy flux collected by the NCAR Electra aircraft. The FIRE boundary layers were observed to span the range of buoyant forcing possibilities from nearly pure surface-forced convection through nearly pure cloud top-forced convection.

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