skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Thermodynamic and radiative structure of stratocumulus-topped boundary layers*

Abstract

Stratocumulus Topped Boundary Layers (STBL) observed in three different regions with distinctive environments are described in the context of their thermodynamic and radiative properties. Here, the primary data set consisted of 131 soundings from the South East Pacific (SEP), 90 soundings from the island of Graciosa (GRW) in the North Atlantic and 83 soundings from the US Southern Great Plains (SGP). A new technique that preserves the depths of the sub-layers within a STBL is proposed for averaging the profiles of thermodynamic and radiative variables. The STBL was deepest over SEP and had the strongest radiative cooling rates near cloud top among the three locations. Although the radiative cooling rates were comparable over GRW and SGP, the STBL was deeper over GRW compared to that over SGP. On average the STBL inversion was strongest over SEP (11.7 k and -5.43 g kg -1) and weakest over the SGP (6.89 k and -0.41 g kg -1). Significantly larger liquid water path, integrated water vapor, and variability in these two properties was found over GRW and evidence presented suggests that conditions at cloud top may play a lesser role in determining the resident cloud structure over GRW than over SEP. A modalmore » analysis revealed ~26% of the STBL to be well-mixed, ~20% of STBL to be stable and ~30% STBL having a stable layer in-between a surface mixed layer and the cloud layer. Over all the three locations, the STBL was shallowest in well-mixed mode and deepest in the stable mode.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
  2. Rutgers, The State Univ. of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ (United States)
  3. Univ. of Miami, Miami, FL (United States)
  4. NOAA/Earth System Research Lab., Boulder, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, NJ (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
OSTI Identifier:
1396177
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1329813
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0008584; AC02-06CH11357; FG02-08ER64531
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 72; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-4928
Publisher:
American Meteorological Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; clouds; radiation; thermodynamics; stratocumulus; climate; cumulus clouds; radiative fluxes

Citation Formats

Ghate, Virendra P., Miller, Mark A., Albrecht, Bruce A., and Fairall, Christopher W. Thermodynamic and radiative structure of stratocumulus-topped boundary layers*. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-13-0313.1.
Ghate, Virendra P., Miller, Mark A., Albrecht, Bruce A., & Fairall, Christopher W. Thermodynamic and radiative structure of stratocumulus-topped boundary layers*. United States. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-13-0313.1.
Ghate, Virendra P., Miller, Mark A., Albrecht, Bruce A., and Fairall, Christopher W. Mon . "Thermodynamic and radiative structure of stratocumulus-topped boundary layers*". United States. doi:10.1175/JAS-D-13-0313.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1396177.
@article{osti_1396177,
title = {Thermodynamic and radiative structure of stratocumulus-topped boundary layers*},
author = {Ghate, Virendra P. and Miller, Mark A. and Albrecht, Bruce A. and Fairall, Christopher W.},
abstractNote = {Stratocumulus Topped Boundary Layers (STBL) observed in three different regions with distinctive environments are described in the context of their thermodynamic and radiative properties. Here, the primary data set consisted of 131 soundings from the South East Pacific (SEP), 90 soundings from the island of Graciosa (GRW) in the North Atlantic and 83 soundings from the US Southern Great Plains (SGP). A new technique that preserves the depths of the sub-layers within a STBL is proposed for averaging the profiles of thermodynamic and radiative variables. The STBL was deepest over SEP and had the strongest radiative cooling rates near cloud top among the three locations. Although the radiative cooling rates were comparable over GRW and SGP, the STBL was deeper over GRW compared to that over SGP. On average the STBL inversion was strongest over SEP (11.7 k and -5.43 g kg-1) and weakest over the SGP (6.89 k and -0.41 g kg-1). Significantly larger liquid water path, integrated water vapor, and variability in these two properties was found over GRW and evidence presented suggests that conditions at cloud top may play a lesser role in determining the resident cloud structure over GRW than over SEP. A modal analysis revealed ~26% of the STBL to be well-mixed, ~20% of STBL to be stable and ~30% STBL having a stable layer in-between a surface mixed layer and the cloud layer. Over all the three locations, the STBL was shallowest in well-mixed mode and deepest in the stable mode.},
doi = {10.1175/JAS-D-13-0313.1},
journal = {Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences},
number = 1,
volume = 72,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 05 00:00:00 EST 2015},
month = {Mon Jan 05 00:00:00 EST 2015}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 7 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share: