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Title: Effects of environment forcing on marine boundary layer cloud-drizzle processes: MBL Cloud-Drizzle Processes

Abstract

Determining the factors affecting drizzle formation in marine boundary layer (MBL) clouds remains a challenge for both observation and modeling communities. To investigate the roles of vertical wind shear and buoyancy (static instability) in drizzle formation, ground-based observations from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program at the Azores are analyzed for two types of conditions. The type I clouds should last for at least five hours and more than 90% time must be non-drizzling, and then followed by at least two hours of drizzling periods while the type II clouds are characterized by mesoscale convection cellular (MCC) structures with drizzle occur every two to four hours. By analyzing the boundary layer wind profiles (direction and speed), it was found that either directional or speed shear is required to promote drizzle production in the type I clouds. Observations and a recent model study both suggest that vertical wind shear helps the production of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), stimulates turbulence within cloud layer, and enhances drizzle formation near the cloud top. The type II clouds do not require strong wind shear to produce drizzle. The small values of lower-tropospheric stability (LTS) and negative Richardson number ( Ri) in the type II casesmore » suggest that boundary layer instability plays an important role in TKE production and cloud-drizzle processes. As a result, by analyzing the relationships between LTS and wind shear for all cases and all time periods, a stronger connection was found between LTS and wind directional shear than that between LTS and wind speed shear.« less

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3];  [4]; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson Arizona USA
  2. Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks North Dakota USA
  3. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton New York USA
  4. Science Systems, and Applications, Inc., Hampton Virginia USA
  5. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
OSTI Identifier:
1351748
Report Number(s):
BNL-113765-2017-JA
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X; R&D Project: 2016-BNL-EE630EECA-Budg; KP1701000
Grant/Contract Number:
SC00112704
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; drizzle formation; vertical wind shear; boundary layer static instability

Citation Formats

Wu, Peng, Dong, Xiquan, Xi, Baike, Liu, Yangang, Thieman, Mandana, and Minnis, Patrick. Effects of environment forcing on marine boundary layer cloud-drizzle processes: MBL Cloud-Drizzle Processes. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2016JD026326.
Wu, Peng, Dong, Xiquan, Xi, Baike, Liu, Yangang, Thieman, Mandana, & Minnis, Patrick. Effects of environment forcing on marine boundary layer cloud-drizzle processes: MBL Cloud-Drizzle Processes. United States. doi:10.1002/2016JD026326.
Wu, Peng, Dong, Xiquan, Xi, Baike, Liu, Yangang, Thieman, Mandana, and Minnis, Patrick. Thu . "Effects of environment forcing on marine boundary layer cloud-drizzle processes: MBL Cloud-Drizzle Processes". United States. doi:10.1002/2016JD026326. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1351748.
@article{osti_1351748,
title = {Effects of environment forcing on marine boundary layer cloud-drizzle processes: MBL Cloud-Drizzle Processes},
author = {Wu, Peng and Dong, Xiquan and Xi, Baike and Liu, Yangang and Thieman, Mandana and Minnis, Patrick},
abstractNote = {Determining the factors affecting drizzle formation in marine boundary layer (MBL) clouds remains a challenge for both observation and modeling communities. To investigate the roles of vertical wind shear and buoyancy (static instability) in drizzle formation, ground-based observations from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program at the Azores are analyzed for two types of conditions. The type I clouds should last for at least five hours and more than 90% time must be non-drizzling, and then followed by at least two hours of drizzling periods while the type II clouds are characterized by mesoscale convection cellular (MCC) structures with drizzle occur every two to four hours. By analyzing the boundary layer wind profiles (direction and speed), it was found that either directional or speed shear is required to promote drizzle production in the type I clouds. Observations and a recent model study both suggest that vertical wind shear helps the production of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), stimulates turbulence within cloud layer, and enhances drizzle formation near the cloud top. The type II clouds do not require strong wind shear to produce drizzle. The small values of lower-tropospheric stability (LTS) and negative Richardson number (Ri) in the type II cases suggest that boundary layer instability plays an important role in TKE production and cloud-drizzle processes. As a result, by analyzing the relationships between LTS and wind shear for all cases and all time periods, a stronger connection was found between LTS and wind directional shear than that between LTS and wind speed shear.},
doi = {10.1002/2016JD026326},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 8,
volume = 122,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Thu Apr 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
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  • Active remote sensing of marine boundary-layer clouds is challenging as drizzle drops often dominate the observed radar reflectivity. We present a new method to simultaneously retrieve cloud and drizzle vertical profiles in drizzling boundary-layer clouds using surface-based observations of radar reflectivity, lidar attenuated backscatter, and zenith radiances under conditions when precipitation does not reach the surface. Specifically, the vertical structure of droplet size and water content of both cloud and drizzle is characterised throughout the cloud. An ensemble optimal estimation approach provides full error statistics given the uncertainty in the observations. To evaluate the new method, we first perform retrievalsmore » using synthetic measurements from large-eddy simulation snapshots of cumulus under stratocumulus, where cloud water path is retrieved with an error of 31 g m -2. The method also performs well in non-drizzling clouds where no assumption of the cloud profile is required. We then apply the method to observations of marine stratocumulus obtained during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement MAGIC deployment in the Northeast Pacific. Here, retrieved cloud water path agrees well with independent three-channel microwave radiometer retrievals, with a root mean square difference of 10–20 g m -2.« less
  • Active remote sensing of marine boundary-layer clouds is challenging as drizzle drops often dominate the observed radar reflectivity. We present a new method to simultaneously retrieve cloud and drizzle vertical profiles in drizzling boundary-layer cloud using surface-based observations of radar reflectivity, lidar attenuated backscatter, and zenith radiances. Specifically, the vertical structure of droplet size and water content of both cloud and drizzle is characterised throughout the cloud. An ensemble optimal estimation approach provides full error statistics given the uncertainty in the observations. To evaluate the new method, we first perform retrievals using synthetic measurements from large-eddy simulation snapshots of cumulusmore » under stratocumulus, where cloud water path is retrieved with an error of 31 g m −2. The method also performs well in non-drizzling clouds where no assumption of the cloud profile is required. We then apply the method to observations of marine stratocumulus obtained during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement MAGIC deployment in the northeast Pacific. Here, retrieved cloud water path agrees well with independent 3-channel microwave radiometer retrievals, with a root mean square difference of 10–20 g m −2.« less
  • Active remote sensing of marine boundary-layer clouds is challenging as drizzle drops often dominate the observed radar reflectivity. We present a new method to simultaneously retrieve cloud and drizzle vertical profiles in drizzling boundary-layer clouds using surface-based observations of radar reflectivity, lidar attenuated backscatter, and zenith radiances under conditions when precipitation does not reach the surface. Specifically, the vertical structure of droplet size and water content of both cloud and drizzle is characterised throughout the cloud. An ensemble optimal estimation approach provides full error statistics given the uncertainty in the observations. To evaluate the new method, we first perform retrievalsmore » using synthetic measurements from large-eddy simulation snapshots of cumulus under stratocumulus, where cloud water path is retrieved with an error of 31 g m -2. The method also performs well in non-drizzling clouds where no assumption of the cloud profile is required. We then apply the method to observations of marine stratocumulus obtained during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement MAGIC deployment in the Northeast Pacific. Here, retrieved cloud water path agrees well with independent three-channel microwave radiometer retrievals, with a root mean square difference of 10–20 g m -2.« less
    Cited by 7
  • Active remote sensing of marine boundary-layer clouds is challenging as drizzle drops often dominate the observed radar reflectivity. We present a new method to simultaneously retrieve cloud and drizzle vertical profiles in drizzling boundary-layer clouds using surface-based observations of radar reflectivity, lidar attenuated backscatter, and zenith radiances under conditions when precipitation does not reach the surface.The vertical structure of droplet size and water content of both cloud and drizzle is characterised throughout the cloud. An ensemble optimal estimation approach provides full error statistics given the uncertainty in the observations. To evaluate the new method, we first perform retrievals using syntheticmore » measurements from large-eddy simulation snapshots of cumulus under stratocumulus, where cloud water path is retrieved with an error of 31 g m –2. The method also performs well in non-drizzling clouds where no assumption of the cloud profile is required. We then apply the method to observations of marine stratocumulus obtained during the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement MAGIC deployment in the Northeast Pacific. Here, retrieved cloud water path agrees well with independent three-channel microwave radiometer retrievals, with a root mean square difference of 10–20 g m –2.« less