In-cloud turbulence structure of marine stratocumulus

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Abstract

[1] This study quantifies the level of turbulence inside the marine stratocumulus cloud deck over Pt. Reyes, CA, during the Marine Stratus Radiation, Aerosol, and Drizzle Experiment (MASRAD) in July 2005, and identifies the dominant sources of turbulent kinetic energy. We used vertical velocity data from a 3 mm wavelength (94-GHz) vertically pointing Doppler radar in combination with collocated radiosonde data. The results show that the stratocumulus observed at Pt. Reyes behaves differently from that expected on the basis of previous studies due to the modified marine environment that exists there. In particular, we found a decrease of turbulence levels with height within the cloud both during day and during night. The analysis highlights that for the conditions of our study longwave radiative cooling at cloud top was compensated by a number of mechanisms, resulting in the observed profiles. The production of turbulent kinetic energy is dominantly driven by wind shear.

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