An observational study of entrainment rate in deep convection

TitleAn observational study of entrainment rate in deep convection
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGuo X.H, Lu C.S, Zhao T.L, Zhang GJ, Liu Y.G
JournalAtmosphere
Volume6
Pagination1362-1376
Date Published2015/09
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2073-4433
Accession NumberWOS:000362546500007
KeywordsAircraft observations; cloud; cumulus; Deep convection; dynamics; ensemble; entrainment rate; high-resolution simulation; mass-flux scheme; microphysics; parameterization; shallow cumulus convection; trade-wind; transition
Abstract

This study estimates entrainment rate and investigates its relationships with cloud properties in 156 deep convective clouds based on in-situ aircraft observations during the TOGA-COARE (Tropical Ocean Global Atmosphere Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Response Experiment) field campaign over the western Pacific. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study on the probability density function of entrainment rate, the relationships between entrainment rate and cloud microphysics, and the effects of dry air sources on the calculated entrainment rate in deep convection from an observational perspective. Results show that the probability density function of entrainment rate can be well fitted by lognormal, gamma or Weibull distribution, with coefficients of determination being 0.82, 0.85 and 0.80, respectively. Entrainment tends to reduce temperature, water vapor content and moist static energy in cloud due to evaporative cooling and dilution. Inspection of the relationships between entrainment rate and microphysical properties reveals a negative correlation between volume-mean radius and entrainment rate, suggesting the potential dominance of homogeneous mechanism in the clouds examined. In addition, entrainment rate and environmental water vapor content show similar tendencies of variation with the distance of the assumed environmental air to the cloud edges. Their variation tendencies are non-monotonic due to the relatively short distance between adjacent clouds.

DOI10.3390/atmos6091362
Student Publication: 
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