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Evaluation of an entraining droplet activation parameterization using in situ cloud data

Morales, R. and Nenes, A. and Jonsson, H. and Flagan, R. C. and Seinfeld, J. H. (2011) Evaluation of an entraining droplet activation parameterization using in situ cloud data. Journal of Geophysical Research D, 116 (D15). Art. No. D15205. ISSN 0148-0227. doi:10.1029/2010JD015324.

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This study investigates the ability of a droplet activation parameterization (which considers the effects of entrainment and mixing) to reproduce observed cloud droplet number concentration (CDNC) in ambient clouds. Predictions of the parameterization are compared against cloud averages of CDNC from ambient cumulus and stratocumulus clouds sampled during CRYSTAL‐FACE (Key West, Florida, July 2002) and CSTRIPE (Monterey, California, July 2003), respectively. The entrainment parameters required by the parameterization are derived from the observed liquid water content profiles. For the cumulus clouds considered in the study, CDNC is overpredicted by 45% with the adiabatic parameterization. When entrainment is accounted for, the predicted CDNC agrees within 3.5%. Cloud‐averaged CDNC for stratocumulus clouds is well captured when entrainment is not considered. In all cases considered, the entraining parameterization compared favorably against a statistical correlation developed from observations to treat entrainment effects on droplet number. These results suggest that including entrainment effects in the calculation of CDNC, as presented here, could address important overprediction biases associated with using adiabatic CDNC to represent cloud‐scale average values.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Nenes, A.0000-0003-3873-9970
Jonsson, H.0000-0003-3043-1074
Flagan, R. C.0000-0001-5690-770X
Seinfeld, J. H.0000-0003-1344-4068
Additional Information:© 2011 American Geophysical Union. Received 13 November 2010; revised 28 April 2011; accepted 17 May 2011; published 10 August 2011. We acknowledge support from NASA-ACMAP, NSF‐CAREER, and ONR (grant N00014‐10‐1‐0200). We also thank Donifan Barahona, Jeff Snider, and two anonymous reviewers for comments that improved the manuscript.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Office of Naval Research (ONR)N00014‐10‐1‐0200
Subject Keywords:cloud, droplet, entrainment, evaluation, in situ data, parameterization.
Issue or Number:D15
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110906-114648003
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Morales, R., A. Nenes, H. Jonsson, R. C. Flagan, and J. H. Seinfeld (2011), Evaluation of an entraining droplet activation parameterization using in situ cloud data, J. Geophys. Res., 116, D15205, doi:10.1029/2010JD015324.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:25232
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:06 Sep 2011 20:06
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 16:31

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