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Level of neutral buoyancy, deep convective outflow, and convective core: new perspectives based on 5 years of CloudSat data

Takahashi, H., Luo, Z. J. and Stephens, G. L. (2017) Level of neutral buoyancy, deep convective outflow, and convective core: new perspectives based on 5 years of CloudSat data. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 122 (5). pp. 2958-2969. ISSN 2169-8996

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2016JD025969

Abstract/Summary

This paper is the follow on to a previous publication by the authors, which investigated the relationship between the level of neutral buoyancy (LNB) determined from the ambient sounding and the actual outflow levels using mainly CloudSat observations. The goal of the current study is to provide a more complete characterization of LNB, deep convective outflow, and convective core, and the relationship among them, as well as the dependence on environmental parameters and convective system size. A proxy is introduced to estimate convective entrainment, namely, the difference between the LNB (based on the ambient sounding) and the actual outflow height. The principal findings are as follows: (1) Deep convection over the Warm Pool has larger entrainment rates and smaller convective cores than the counterpart over the two tropical land regions (Africa and Amazonia), lending observational support to a long-standing assumption in convection models concerning the negative relationship between the two parameters. (2) The differences in internal vertical structure of convection between the two tropical land regions and the Warm Pool suggest that deep convection over the two tropical land regions contains more intense cores. (3) Deep convective outflow occurs at a higher level when the midtroposphere is more humid and the convective system size is smaller. The convective system size dependence is postulated to be related to convective lifecycle, highlighting the importance of cloud life stage information in interpretation of snapshot measurements by satellite. Finally, implications of the study to global modeling are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:71391
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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