Geophysical Research Letters

A new approach for estimating entrainment rate in cumulus clouds

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Abstract

[1] A new approach is presented to estimate entrainment rate in cumulus clouds. The new approach is directly derived from the definition of fractional entrainment rate and relates it to mixing fraction and the height above cloud base. The results derived from the new approach compare favorably with those obtained with a commonly used approach, and have smaller uncertainty. This new approach has several advantages: it eliminates the need for in-cloud measurements of temperature and water vapor content, which are often problematic in current aircraft observations; it has the potential for straightforwardly connecting the estimation of entrainment rate and the microphysical effects of entrainment-mixing processes; it also has the potential for developing a remote sensing technique to infer entrainment rate.

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