AbstractStratocumulus clouds play an important role in climate cooling and are hard to predict using global climate and weather forecast models. Thus, previous studies in the literature use observations and numerical simulation tools, such as large-eddy simulation (LES), to solve the governing equations for the evolution of stratocumulus clouds. In contrast to the previous works, this work provides an analytic closed-form solution to the cloud thickness evolution of stratocumulus clouds in a mixed-layer model framework. With a focus on application over coastal lands, the diurnal cycle of cloud thickness and whether or not clouds dissipate are of particular interest. An analytic solution enables the sensitivity analysis of implicitly interdependent variables and extrema analysis of cloud variables that are hard to achieve using numerical solutions. In this work, the sensitivity of inversion height, cloud-base height, and cloud thickness with respect to initial and boundary conditions, such as Bowen ratio, subsidence, surface temperature, and initial inversion height, are studied. A critical initial cloud thickness value that can be dissipated pre- and postsunrise is provided. Furthermore, an extrema analysis is provided to obtain the minima and maxima of the inversion height and cloud thickness within 24 h. The proposed solution is validated against LES results under the same initial and boundary conditions.
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences – American Meteorological Society
Published: Aug 11, 2017
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