Analysis of Convective Water Transports During Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers (CRYSTAL)

  • Frank, William W.M. (PI)
  • Verlinde, Johannes (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This grant supports the participation of Dr. Frank and his Co-PI, Johannes Verlinde, in the CRYSTAL-FACE project, which stands for Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers - Florida Area Cirrus Experiment. This is an interagency field program to be conducted in and around southern Florida in the summer of 2002 with the goal of studying the formation, evolution, and radiative properties of the cirrus anvil clouds created by large convective clouds in the tropics. Dr. Frank will use an NRL P3 aircraft fitted with the NSF ELDORA radar to document the life cycles of deep convective cloud systems from the time of their inception until the development of widespread cirrus anvils. The main objective is to estimate the convective transport of total water substance (vapor plus condensate) into the cirrus cloud layer. This is accomplished by first computing the vertical air velocity from the profile of horizontal divergence derived from Doppler radar observations, and then inferring the water flux by combining the estimated mass flux of air with results of large-eddy simulations that include parameterized precipitation. The results will be synthesized to assess the influence of convective water transports on the global population of cirrus clouds, including estimates of their effect on the Earth's radiation budget.

Effective start/end date1/1/0212/31/05


  • National Science Foundation: $381,004.00


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