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Title: Entrainment rate diurnal cycle in marine stratiform clouds estimated from geostationary satellite retrievals and a meteorological forecast model

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Science Systems and Applications, Inc, Hampton Virginia USA, NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA
  2. NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton Virginia USA
  3. Science Systems and Applications, Inc, Hampton Virginia USA
Publication Date:
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1375066
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0011675
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Publisher's Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 14; Related Information: CHORUS Timestamp: 2018-04-02 17:07:17; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Painemal, David, Xu, Kuan-Man, Palikonda, Rabindra, and Minnis, Patrick. Entrainment rate diurnal cycle in marine stratiform clouds estimated from geostationary satellite retrievals and a meteorological forecast model. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1002/2017GL074481.
Painemal, David, Xu, Kuan-Man, Palikonda, Rabindra, & Minnis, Patrick. Entrainment rate diurnal cycle in marine stratiform clouds estimated from geostationary satellite retrievals and a meteorological forecast model. United States. doi:10.1002/2017GL074481.
Painemal, David, Xu, Kuan-Man, Palikonda, Rabindra, and Minnis, Patrick. Tue . "Entrainment rate diurnal cycle in marine stratiform clouds estimated from geostationary satellite retrievals and a meteorological forecast model". United States. doi:10.1002/2017GL074481.
@article{osti_1375066,
title = {Entrainment rate diurnal cycle in marine stratiform clouds estimated from geostationary satellite retrievals and a meteorological forecast model},
author = {Painemal, David and Xu, Kuan-Man and Palikonda, Rabindra and Minnis, Patrick},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1002/2017GL074481},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 14,
volume = 44,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jul 18 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Tue Jul 18 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
This content will become publicly available on July 18, 2018
Publisher's Accepted Manuscript

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  • Quantifying the sensitivity of warm rain to aerosols is important for constraining climate model estimates of aerosol indirect effects. In this study, the precipitation sensitivity to cloud droplet number concentration (N d) in satellite retrievals is quantified by applying the precipitation susceptibility metric to a combined CloudSat/Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer data set of stratus and stratocumulus clouds that cover the tropical and subtropical Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. We note that consistent with previous observational studies of marine stratocumulus, precipitation susceptibility decreases with increasing liquid water path (LWP), and the susceptibility of the mean precipitation rate R is nearlymore » equal to the sum of the susceptibilities of precipitation intensity and of probability of precipitation. Consistent with previous modeling studies, the satellite retrievals reveal that precipitation susceptibility varies not only with LWP but also with N d. Puzzlingly, negative values of precipitation susceptibility are found at low LWP and high N d. There is marked regional variation in precipitation susceptibility values that cannot simply be explained by regional variations in LWP and N d. This suggests other controls on precipitation apart from LWP and N d and that precipitation susceptibility will need to be quantified and understood at the regional scale when relating to its role in controlling possible aerosol-induced cloud lifetime effects.« less
  • In this paper the authors present an analysis of the integrated liquid water content and precipitation characteristics of stratiform clouds using data from the Nimbus 7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) for January 1979, over the North Atlantic Ocean (40{degree}-60{degree}N). Concurrent analysis of the SMMR data with the US Air Force 3-Dimensional Nephanalysis (3DNEPH) allows the interpretation of the SMMR-derived liquid water paths and precipitation characteristics in terms of cloud type, cloud fraction, and cloud height. Combining the initialized analyses from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting with the 3DNEPH enables vertical temperature and humidity profiles to be incorporatedmore » into the retrievals. The interpretation and presentation of results are guided by their implications for the parameterization of liquid water content of layer clouds in large-scale atmospheric models. The average liquid water paths for middle and low clouds were determined to be 115 and 102 g m{sup {minus}2}, respectively, with a maximum value of 1,070 g m{sup {minus}2}. Analysis of the liquid water path as a function of temperature showed that clouds with average temperature below 246 K had little liquid water and were inferred to be predominantly crystalline. Liquid water paths of 350 g m{sup {minus}2} and 500 g m{sup {minus}2} for middle and low clouds, respectively, were determined to be average thresholds for the onset of precipitation. Maximum rain rates for these clouds were determined to be 7 mm h{sup {minus}1}. The autoconversion of cloud water to rain water was determined to occur at a rate of 0.001 s{sup {minus}1}.« less
  • When the production of cloud condensation nuclei in the stratocumulus-topped marine boundary layer is low enough, droplet collisions can reduce concentrations of cloud droplet numbers to extremely low values. At low droplet concentrations a cloud layer can become so optically thin that cloud-top radiative cooling cannot drive vertical mixing. Under these conditions, model simulations indicate that the stratocumulus-topped marine boundary layer collapses to a shallow fog layer. Through this mechanism, marine stratiform clouds may limit their own lifetimes.
  • Observed and projected trends in large-scale wind speed over the oceans prompt the question: how do marine stratocumulus clouds and their radiative properties respond to changes in large-scale wind speed? Wind speed drives the surface fluxes of sensible heat, moisture, and momentum and thereby acts on cloud liquid water path (LWP) and cloud radiative properties. We present an investigation of the dynamical response of non-precipitating, overcast marine stratocumulus clouds to different wind speeds over the course of a diurnal cycle, all else equal. In cloud-system resolving simulations, we find that higher wind speed leads to faster boundary layer growth and strongermore » entrainment. The dynamical driver is enhanced buoyant production of turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) from latent heat release in cloud updrafts. LWP is enhanced during the night and in the morning at higher wind speed, and more strongly suppressed later in the day. Wind speed hence accentuates the diurnal LWP cycle by expanding the morning–afternoon contrast. The higher LWP at higher wind speed does not, however, enhance cloud top cooling because in clouds with LWP ≳50 gm –2, longwave emissions are insensitive to LWP. This leads to the general conclusion that in sufficiently thick stratocumulus clouds, additional boundary layer growth and entrainment due to a boundary layer moistening arises by stronger production of TKE from latent heat release in cloud updrafts, rather than from enhanced longwave cooling. Here, we find that large-scale wind modulates boundary layer decoupling. At nighttime and at low wind speed during daytime, it enhances decoupling in part by faster boundary layer growth and stronger entrainment and in part because shear from large-scale wind in the sub-cloud layer hinders vertical moisture transport between the surface and cloud base. With increasing wind speed, however, in decoupled daytime conditions, shear-driven circulation due to large-scale wind takes over from buoyancy-driven circulation in transporting moisture from the surface to cloud base and thereby reduces decoupling and helps maintain LWP. Furthermore, the total (shortwave + longwave) cloud radiative effect (CRE) responds to changes in LWP and cloud fraction, and higher wind speed translates to a stronger diurnally averaged total CRE. However, the sensitivity of the diurnally averaged total CRE to wind speed decreases with increasing wind speed.« less
    Cited by 3
  • Observed and projected trends in large-scale wind speed over the oceans prompt the question: how do marine stratocumulus clouds and their radiative properties respond to changes in large-scale wind speed? Wind speed drives the surface fluxes of sensible heat, moisture, and momentum and thereby acts on cloud liquid water path (LWP) and cloud radiative properties. We present an investigation of the dynamical response of non-precipitating, overcast marine stratocumulus clouds to different wind speeds over the course of a diurnal cycle, all else equal. In cloud-system resolving simulations, we find that higher wind speed leads to faster boundary layer growth and strongermore » entrainment. The dynamical driver is enhanced buoyant production of turbulence kinetic energy (TKE) from latent heat release in cloud updrafts. LWP is enhanced during the night and in the morning at higher wind speed, and more strongly suppressed later in the day. Wind speed hence accentuates the diurnal LWP cycle by expanding the morning–afternoon contrast. The higher LWP at higher wind speed does not, however, enhance cloud top cooling because in clouds with LWP ≳50 gm –2, longwave emissions are insensitive to LWP. This leads to the general conclusion that in sufficiently thick stratocumulus clouds, additional boundary layer growth and entrainment due to a boundary layer moistening arises by stronger production of TKE from latent heat release in cloud updrafts, rather than from enhanced longwave cooling. Here, we find that large-scale wind modulates boundary layer decoupling. At nighttime and at low wind speed during daytime, it enhances decoupling in part by faster boundary layer growth and stronger entrainment and in part because shear from large-scale wind in the sub-cloud layer hinders vertical moisture transport between the surface and cloud base. With increasing wind speed, however, in decoupled daytime conditions, shear-driven circulation due to large-scale wind takes over from buoyancy-driven circulation in transporting moisture from the surface to cloud base and thereby reduces decoupling and helps maintain LWP. Furthermore, the total (shortwave + longwave) cloud radiative effect (CRE) responds to changes in LWP and cloud fraction, and higher wind speed translates to a stronger diurnally averaged total CRE. However, the sensitivity of the diurnally averaged total CRE to wind speed decreases with increasing wind speed.« less