Convective vertical velocity and cloud internal vertical structure: An A-Train perspective



This paper describes a novel use of A-Train observations to estimate vertical velocities for actively growing convective plumes and to relate them to cloud internal vertical structure. Convective vertical velocity is derived from time-delayed (1–2 min) IR measurements from MODIS and IIR. Convective vertical velocities are found to be clustered around 2–4 m/s but the distributions are positively skewed with long tails extending to larger values. Land convection during the 13:30 overpasses has higher vertical velocities than those during the 1:30 overpasses; oceanic convection shows the opposite, albeit smaller, contrast. Our results also show that convection with larger vertical velocity tends to transport larger precipitation-size particle and/or greater amount of water substance to higher altitude and produces heavier rainfall. Finally, we discuss the implications of this study for the designs of future space-borne missions that focus on fast-evolving processes such as those related to clouds and precipitation.