Comparisons between Observations of Entrainment in Montana Cumuli and Results from a Simple Model

Alan M. Blyth Physics Department and Geophysical Research Center, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico

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David J. Raymond Physics Department and Geophysical Research Center, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico

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Abstract

Recent entrainment studies have showed that entrainment occurs at all levels in cumulus clouds irrespective of the thermodynamic conditions of the environment in which the clouds are growing. They have further suggested that cloudy parcels tend to proceed towards their level of neutral buoyancy after mixing. In this note we compare the observations made in CCOPE by the Wyoming King Air with results from a simple model of cumulus convection. The comparisons, which are surprisingly good, lend support to the idea that cumulus clouds contain individual parcels, each seeking their equilibrium level.

Abstract

Recent entrainment studies have showed that entrainment occurs at all levels in cumulus clouds irrespective of the thermodynamic conditions of the environment in which the clouds are growing. They have further suggested that cloudy parcels tend to proceed towards their level of neutral buoyancy after mixing. In this note we compare the observations made in CCOPE by the Wyoming King Air with results from a simple model of cumulus convection. The comparisons, which are surprisingly good, lend support to the idea that cumulus clouds contain individual parcels, each seeking their equilibrium level.

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