Statistical properties of cloud lifecycles in cloud-resolving models Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, Reading, P.O. Box 243, RG6 6BB, UK
Received: 15 Aug 2008 – Published in Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.: 09 Dec 2008 – Published: 24 Mar 2009Abstract. A new technique is described for the analysis of cloud-resolving model
simulations, which allows one to investigate the statistics of the
lifecycles of cumulus clouds. Clouds are tracked from
timestep to timestep within the model run. This allows for a very
simple method of tracking, but one which is both comprehensive and
robust. An approach for handling cloud splits and mergers is described
which allows clouds with simple and complicated time histories to be
compared within a single framework. This is found to be important for
the analysis of an idealized simulation of radiative-convective
equilibrium, in which the moist, buoyant updrafts (i.e., the
convective cores) were tracked. Around half of all such cores were
subject to splits and mergers during their lifecycles. For cores
without any such events, the average lifetime is 30 min, but
events can lengthen the typical lifetime considerably.
Citation: Plant, R. S.: Statistical properties of cloud lifecycles in cloud-resolving models, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 2195-2205, doi:10.5194/acp-9-2195-2009, 2009.