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Atmosphere 2015, 6(9), 1362-1376; doi:10.3390/atmos6091362

An Observational Study of Entrainment Rate in Deep Convection

1
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Key Laboratory of Meteorological Disaster of Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
2
Jiangsu Research Institute of Meteorological Science, Nanjing 210008, China
3
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA 92093, USA
4
Biological, Environmental and Climate Science Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Toshihiko Takemura
Received: 1 August 2015 / Revised: 3 September 2015 / Accepted: 10 September 2015 / Published: 22 September 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [374 KB, uploaded 22 September 2015]   |  

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. View Full-Text
Keywords: entrainment rate; deep convection; aircraft observations entrainment rate; deep convection; aircraft observations
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, X.; Lu, C.; Zhao, T.; Zhang, G.J.; Liu, Y. An Observational Study of Entrainment Rate in Deep Convection. Atmosphere 2015, 6, 1362-1376.

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