Representation of turbulent mixing and buoyancy reversal in bulk cloud models

AMS Citation:
Grabowski, W. W., 2007: Representation of turbulent mixing and buoyancy reversal in bulk cloud models. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 64, 3666-3680, doi:10.1175/JAS4047.1.
Resource Type:article
Title:Representation of turbulent mixing and buoyancy reversal in bulk cloud models
Abstract: This paper discusses the representation of subgrid-scale turbulent mixing in bulk models of warm (ice free) clouds, which assume instantaneous adjustment to grid-scale saturation. This is a reasonable assumption for condensation of water vapor because supersaturations inside clouds are typically small (~0.1% or smaller), except near cloud bases where about an order of magnitude larger supersaturations are anticipated. For the cloud evaporation, however, instantaneous adjustment to grid-scale saturation is questionable, especially when evaporation occurs as a result of turbulent mixing between a cloud and its unsaturated environment. This is because turbulent mixing between initially separated volumes of cloudy and cloud-free environmental air proceeds through a gradual filamentation of these volumes, with progressively increasing evaporation of cloud water during the approach to final homogenization. A relatively simple model of this chain of events is included in a bulk model of moist nonprecipitating thermodynamics. The model delays adjustment to saturation for cloud evaporation following the turbulent mixing until the volume can be assumed homogeneous. An additional prognostic variable, the width of a cloudy filament, is added to represent the progress of turbulent mixing and the approach to homogenization. Theoretical developments are illustrated by idealized 2D simulations of moist thermals rising from rest and realistic large-eddy simulations of a cloud field.
Subject(s):mixing, buoyancy, turbulence, clouds, subgrid-scale processes
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2007 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7d79cr3
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/JAS4047.1
  • Wojciech Grabowski - NCAR/UCAR
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