Microphysical And Macrophysical Characteristics Of Non-Precipitating Morning Shallow Clouds In Central Amazonia Using One-Year Of Data From GOAMAZON 2014/15 Experiment
Abstract:Shallow cumulus cloud fields in Amazonia are typical of the morning hours. They play a critical role in the mean observed diurnal cycle of precipitation in the Amazon Basin, which is characterized by the occurrence of heavy precipitation events in the afternoon. Shallow clouds act both to reduce incident shortwave radiation at the surface and in the transport of humidity from the lowest portions of the troposphere to higher levels. These two processes are poorly represented in numerical models, but are critical in the transition to deep convection and associated precipitation. Numerical models have problems in properly representing shallow cumulus fields and their transition to deep precipitating convection, the net result of which is producing rainfall to early in the diurnal cycle. Due to their importance, detailed characterization of morning shallow clouds is critical for understanding the shallow-to-deep transition as well as providing for model validation purposes.
In this study we report 16 month data of observations of shallow cumulus with respect to cloud cover (CC), cloud base height (CBH), liquid water path (LWP), precipitable water vapor (PWV) and GOES (Visible and IR)analysis. Results showed a consistent pattern of evolution in the cloud field throughout the morning period. After sunrise the cloud field starts to move from a random cloud field to an organized shallow clouds field. In fact, there is an absence of any pattern in CBH from 6LT to 7LT. Once some amount of radiation reaches the surface shallow convection is established around 8:00LT, when a mode of CBH at 100 m is established and rises to 900 m at noon. During this time interval, CC grows up to 50% (mean), however with significant variability and oscillations. With respect to microphysical properties, both LWP and PWV were remarkably stable for single mornings and for shallow clouds, with LWP/PWV ~ 6.10-4. All of these results are being compared with GOES observations of cloud fields (Visible and IR), with the goal of directly comparing satellite and surface observations of clouds.