Probing Finescale Dynamics and Microphysics of Clouds with Helicopter-Borne Measurements

Probing Finescale Dynamics and Microphysics of Clouds with Helicopter-Borne Measurements Helicopter-based measurements provide an opportunity for probing the finescale dynamics and microphysics of clouds simultaneously in space and time. Due to the low true air speed compared with research aircraft, a helicopter allows for measurements with much higher spatial resolution. To circumvent the influence of the helicopter downwash the autonomous measurement payload Airborne Cloud Turbulence Observation System (ACTOS) is carried as an external cargo 140 m below the helicopter. ACTOS allows for collocated measurements of the dynamical and cloud microphysical parameters with a spatial resolution of better than 10 cm.The interaction between turbulence and cloud microphysical processes is demonstrated using the following two cloud cases from recent helicopter measurements: i) a cumulus cloud with a low degree of turbulence and without strong vertical dynamics, and, in contrast, ii) an actively growing cloud with increased turbulence and stronger updrafts. The turbulence and microphysical measurements suggest that entrainment at the tops of these two clouds occurs by inhomogeneous and homogeneous mixing, respectively. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

Probing Finescale Dynamics and Microphysics of Clouds with Helicopter-Borne Measurements

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/BAMS-87-12-1727
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Helicopter-based measurements provide an opportunity for probing the finescale dynamics and microphysics of clouds simultaneously in space and time. Due to the low true air speed compared with research aircraft, a helicopter allows for measurements with much higher spatial resolution. To circumvent the influence of the helicopter downwash the autonomous measurement payload Airborne Cloud Turbulence Observation System (ACTOS) is carried as an external cargo 140 m below the helicopter. ACTOS allows for collocated measurements of the dynamical and cloud microphysical parameters with a spatial resolution of better than 10 cm.The interaction between turbulence and cloud microphysical processes is demonstrated using the following two cloud cases from recent helicopter measurements: i) a cumulus cloud with a low degree of turbulence and without strong vertical dynamics, and, in contrast, ii) an actively growing cloud with increased turbulence and stronger updrafts. The turbulence and microphysical measurements suggest that entrainment at the tops of these two clouds occurs by inhomogeneous and homogeneous mixing, respectively.

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Dec 19, 2006

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