Continental Shallow Convection Cloud-Base Mass Flux from Doppler Lidar and LASSO Ensemble Large-Eddy Simulations

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 - 09:20
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Continental boundary layer clouds are important to simulations of weather and climate because of their impact on surface budgets and vertical transports of energy and moisture; however, model-parameterized boundary layer clouds do not agree well with observations in part because small-scale turbulence and convection are not properly represented. To advance parameterization development and evaluation, observational constraints are needed on critical parameters such as cloud-base mass flux and its relationship to cloud cover and the sub-cloud boundary layer structure including vertical velocity variance and skewness. In this study, these constraints are derived from Doppler lidar observations and ensemble large-eddy simulations (LES) from the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Facility Southern Great Plains (SGP) site in Oklahoma. The Doppler lidar analysis will extend the single-site, long-term analysis of Lamer and Kollias [2015] and augment this information with the short-term but unique 1-2 year period since five Doppler lidars began operation at the SGP, providing critical information on regional variability. These observations will be compared to the statistics obtained from ensemble, routine LES conducted by the LES ARM Symbiotic Simulation and Observation (LASSO) project (https://www.arm.gov/capabilities/modeling/lasso). An Observation System Simulation Experiment (OSSE) will be presented that uses the LASSO LES fields to determine criteria for which relationships from Doppler lidar observations are adequately sampled to yield convergence. Any systematic differences between the observed and simulated relationships will be examined to understand factors contributing to the differences.

Lamer, K., and P. Kollias (2015), Observations of fair-weather cumuli over land: Dynamical factors controlling cloud size and cover, Geophys. Res. Lett., 42, 8693–8701, doi:10.1002/2015GL064534

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