Radiative impacts on the growth of drops within simulated marine stratocumulus. Part II: Solar zenith angle variations

Christopher M. Hartman, Jerry Y. Harrington

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The effects of solar heating at a variety of solar zenith angles (o) on the vapor depositional growth of cloud drops, and hence the potential for collection enhancement, is investigated. A large eddy simulation (LES) model is used to predict the evolution of marine stratocumulus clouds subject to changes in o. During the course of each simulation, LES output is stored for 600 parcel trajectories and is used to drive an offline microphysical model that includes the influence of radiation on drop growth. Smaller o, such as when the sun is overhead, provide strong solar heating, which tends to confine circulations to the cloud layer and leads to long in-cloud residence times for cloud drops. At larger o, when solar heating is weak, circulations are stronger and penetrate through the depth of the boundary layer, which causes much shorter in-cloud residence times for cloud drops. Simulations show that this leads to a more rapid collection process in strongly, as compared to weakly solar-heated clouds provided that the liquid water contents of each cloud are similar. When drop vapor growth includes radiative effects, three main results emerge: 1) Solar heating at smaller o (0° to 45°) dominates over longwave cooling effects causing a suppression of collection for lower drop concentrations (100 to 200 cm-3). 2) At larger drop concentrations (≳300 cm-3) longwave cooling dominates over solar heating and collection is enhanced. 3) At large o. (60° to 90°), solar heating is ineffective at modifying the drop size spectrum thus allowing longwave cooling to significantly enhance collection at all drop concentrations above approximately 100 cm-3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2339-2351
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number7 II
StatePublished - Jul 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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