Radiative impacts on the growth of a population of drops within simulated summertime arctic stratus

Jerry Y. Harrington, Graham Feingold, William R. Cotton

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The impact of solar heating and infrared cooling on the growth of a population of drops is studied with two numerical modeling frameworks. An eddy-resolving model (ERM) simulation of Arctic stratus clouds is used to generate a dataset of 500 parcel trajectories that follow the mean dynamic motions of the simulated cloud. The 500-parcel dataset is used to drive a trajectory ensemble model (TEM) coupled to an explicit microphysical model that includes the radiative term in the vapor growth equation. The second framework is that of the ERM itself. Results from the TEM show that the production of drizzle-sized drops is strongly dependent upon parcel cloud-top residence time for both radiative- and nonradiative-influenced growth. Drizzle-sized drops can be produced between 20 and 50 min earlier through the inclusion of the radiative term, which corroborates earlier results. The radiative effect may also cause drops with r < 10 μm to evaporate, producing a bimodal size spectrum. Parcel cloud-top residence times as short as 12 min can initiate this bimodal spectrum. TEM results show that the radiative effect increases drizzle drop mass predominately in parcels that tend to contribute to drizzle even in the absence of the radiative term. Activation of large cloud condensation nuclei appears to have a larger effect on drizzle production than does the radiative term. ERM simulations show a weak overall influence of the radiative term. Drizzle onset occurs earlier when the radiative term is included (about 20 min), but there is no strong change in the overall structure or evolution of the cloud.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-787
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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