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Cloud and MBL properties across the Sc-Cu transition

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Title:Cloud and MBL properties across the Sc-Cu transition
Authors:Butt, Kristin Nicole
Contributors:Nugent, Alison D. (advisor)
Atmospheric Sciences (department)
Keywords:Atmospheric sciences
Date Issued:2019
Publisher:University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Abstract:This research aims to provide a characterization of the Pacific stratocumulus-to-cumulus transition (Sc-Cu transition) using observations of the marine boundary layer and cloud microstructures observed during the Cloud System Evolution in the Trades (CSET) field campaign. An investigation of warm marine clouds in their typical environment compares the upstream and downstream regions across the Sc-Cu transition, between California and Hawaiʻi. This research uses a single research flight case study to analyze in situ aircraft observations and dropsonde soundings. Thermodynamic and microphysical measurements are used to compute various entrainment measures to characterize entrainment-mixing and to investigate how it impacts cloud microphysical properties and the structure of the Sc-Cu transition. This research is unique because it combines focuses, the MBL and cloud microphysics, as well as the different methods of studying them. The results from this research identify the MBL as a well-mixed, stable, shallow layer in the upstream region and a decoupled, conditionally unstable, deeper layer in the downstream region. The results further show that the microstructure of upstream and downstream warm marine clouds have similar trends with predominantly inhomogeneous entrainment mixing, but that stronger mixing occurs in the downstream clouds. Overall, MBL, cloud microstructure, and entrainment method analyses are consistent with each other in this research. Results are also consistent with precedent studies of both the Sc-Cu transition and warm cloud microphysics. These results aid in understanding the structure of the MBL in the upstream and downstream regions across the Sc-Cu transition as well as the microstructure and entrainment processes that the warm marine clouds associated with it undergo.
Pages/Duration:65 pages
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Atmospheric Sciences

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