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Keywords:

  • trade-wind cumuli;
  • microphysics;
  • RICO

[1] This paper presents statistics of cloud microphysical properties of shallow tropical cumuli observed by a research aircraft during RICO field campaign. Cloud properties are derived from 10 Hz (about 10 m spatial distance) Fast-FSSP data in four different flights. The motivation comes from similar analyses of either aircraft data from stratocumulus clouds or remote-sensing data of tropical cumuli. In the lowest few hundred meters, the standard deviation of the droplet size distribution σr and the relative dispersion, the ratio of σr and the mean radius, are similar to stratocumulus clouds, but they are significantly larger in the upper half of the cloud field depth. The frequency distribution of the effective radius is significantly narrower than in the remote-sensing observations in the middle and upper third of the cloud field. These results can be used in parameterizations and validations of cloud microphysics in numerical models of various complexity.