292 Meteorological and Microphysical Controls on the Stratocumulus to Cumulus Transition

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Johannes Mohrmann, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; and I. L. McCoy

Handout (2.9 MB)

Aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions and thermodynamic boundary layer structure are important in initiating the transition and breakup of subtropical marine stratocumulus (Sc) to trade cumulus (Cu) clouds as they advect downstream. The Cloud System Evolution in Trades (CSET) field campaign took place in July and August 2015 in the northeast Pacific stratocumulus region to characterize the Sc-Cu transition, and consisted of 14 research flights between Sacramento, California and Kona, Hawaii using the NSF/NCAR G-V HIAPER research aircraft. Collected observations are used to validate cloud property retrievals derived from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite system (GOES). Lagrangian boundary layer trajectories are calculated to coincide with CSET and were combined with satellite retrievals. The resulting Lagrangian dataset is used to examine the influence of meteorological and microphysical controls on the Sc-Cu transition. Change in cloud droplet number concentration (Nd), liquid water path (LWP), estimated inversion strength (EIS), and sea surface temperature (SST) are used to analyze the relative importance of these controls in the cloud evolution.
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