11th Conference on Atmospheric Radiation and the 11th Conference on Cloud Physics

Wednesday, 5 June 2002: 11:15 AM
Turbulent and radiative structure of altocumulus clouds
Vincent E. Larson, Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI; and C. M. Sears and J. C. Golaz
Poster PDF (82.7 kB)
Altocumulus clouds are found in the mid troposphere. They are usually several tens or hundreds of meters thick, and most precipitate little if at all.

Altocumulus clouds may be called the ``forgotten clouds" because they have been studied much less extensively than cirrus or stratocumulus clouds. However, altocumulus clouds provide a useful laboratory for investigating turbulent cloud processes in a simplified setting. This is because altocumulus clouds, unlike stratocumulus clouds, do not interact dynamically with the ground surface, and unlike cirrus clouds, they often consist mostly or entirely of liquid rather than ice.

In this study, we perform large eddy simulations and present aircraft data on altocumulus clouds. The goal is to investigate the relationship and interaction between radiation and turbulent motions within these clouds.

Supplementary URL: http://www.uwm.edu/~vlarson