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Title: The Relationship of Cloud Number and Size With Their Large-Scale Environment in Deep Tropical Convection

Abstract

Accurately representing the properties and impact of tropical convection in climate models requires an understanding of the relationships between the state of a convective cloud ensemble and the environment it is embedded in. We investigate this relationship using 13 years of radar observations in the tropics. Specifically, we focus on convective cell number and size and quantify their relationship to atmospheric stability, midtropospheric vertical motion and humidity. We find several key convective states embedded in their own unique environments. The most area-averaged rainfall occurs with a moderate number of moderate size convective cell in an environment of high humidity, strong vertical ascent, and moderate convective available potential energy (CAPE) and convective inhibition (CIN). The strongest rainfall intensities are found with few large cells. Those exist in a dry and subsiding environment with both high CAPE and CIN. Finally, large numbers of convective cells are associated with small CAPE and CIN, weak ascent, and a moist midtroposphere.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]
  1. Monash Univ., Clayton, VIC (Australia)
  2. Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, VIC (Australia)
  3. Monash Univ., Clayton, VIC (Australia); European X-ray Free Electron Laser Facility, Schenefeld (Germany)
  4. Monash Univ., Clayton, VIC (Australia); Bureau of Meteorology, Melbourne, VIC (Australia)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Monash Univ., Melbourne, VIC (Australia)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1612067
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1546871
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0014063
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 15; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; geology; convection; tropics; radar; large scale

Citation Formats

Louf, Valentin, Jakob, Christian, Protat, Alain, Bergemann, Martin, and Narsey, Sugata. The Relationship of Cloud Number and Size With Their Large-Scale Environment in Deep Tropical Convection. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl083964.
Louf, Valentin, Jakob, Christian, Protat, Alain, Bergemann, Martin, & Narsey, Sugata. The Relationship of Cloud Number and Size With Their Large-Scale Environment in Deep Tropical Convection. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl083964
Louf, Valentin, Jakob, Christian, Protat, Alain, Bergemann, Martin, and Narsey, Sugata. Thu . "The Relationship of Cloud Number and Size With Their Large-Scale Environment in Deep Tropical Convection". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl083964. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1612067.
@article{osti_1612067,
title = {The Relationship of Cloud Number and Size With Their Large-Scale Environment in Deep Tropical Convection},
author = {Louf, Valentin and Jakob, Christian and Protat, Alain and Bergemann, Martin and Narsey, Sugata},
abstractNote = {Accurately representing the properties and impact of tropical convection in climate models requires an understanding of the relationships between the state of a convective cloud ensemble and the environment it is embedded in. We investigate this relationship using 13 years of radar observations in the tropics. Specifically, we focus on convective cell number and size and quantify their relationship to atmospheric stability, midtropospheric vertical motion and humidity. We find several key convective states embedded in their own unique environments. The most area-averaged rainfall occurs with a moderate number of moderate size convective cell in an environment of high humidity, strong vertical ascent, and moderate convective available potential energy (CAPE) and convective inhibition (CIN). The strongest rainfall intensities are found with few large cells. Those exist in a dry and subsiding environment with both high CAPE and CIN. Finally, large numbers of convective cells are associated with small CAPE and CIN, weak ascent, and a moist midtroposphere.},
doi = {10.1029/2019gl083964},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = 15,
volume = 46,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {8}
}

Journal Article:
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Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: (a) Density plot of the domain average convective rainfall (mm/hr) as a function of the convective area fraction (%) from 14 years of C-band Dual-Polarization radar data. The black dashed line is a linear interpolation y = 0.409x. r denotes Pearson's correlation coefficient. (b) N-$\overline{A}$ phase space diagrammore » of the CAF where N is the number of convective cells and $\overline{A}$ is the mean area of individual convective cell in the domain. The black lines denote the count, that is, the sample size for each pixels. (c) N-$\overline{A}$ phase space diagram of the domain average convective rainfall (mm/hr). (d) N-$\overline{A}$ phase space diagram of the convective rainfall intensity (mm/hr). Black lines in (c) and (d) represent the distribution quartiles. Only bins with a sample size above 10 are shown. CAF = cloud area fraction.« less

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