Observations of shallow convective clouds generated by solar heating of dark smoke plumes L. Klüser1, D. Rosenfeld2, A. Macke3, and T. Holzer-Popp1 1German Aerospace Center (DLR), German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), Weßling, Germany 2Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel 3Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences, IFM-GEOMAR, Kiel, Germany
Abstract. The SEVIRI instrument on the Meteosat Second Generation satellite with both fine
spatial and temporal resolution allows to detect and follow the dynamics of fast
developing meteorological events like spreading smoke plumes and the lifecycles of
convective clouds. Smoke plumes have the ability to change the atmospheric heat
content due to absorption and reduced reflection of solar radiation. By these means
they can trigger formation of shallow convective clouds at their
edge. A heavy smoke plume emerging from burning Lebanese oil tanks and
spreading over adjacent deserts on 17 July 2006 has been observed as an example
of such an effect. This study suggests a physical explanation of the observed
convection along the edge of the smoke plume, namely the strong thermal contrast
resulting from solar heating of the smoke layer.
Citation: Klüser, L., Rosenfeld, D., Macke, A., and Holzer-Popp, T.: Observations of shallow convective clouds generated by solar heating of dark smoke plumes, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 8, 2833-2840, doi:10.5194/acp-8-2833-2008, 2008.