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Published July 2005 | public
Journal Article

Anvil glaciation in a deep cumulus updraught over Florida simulated with the Explicit Microphysics Model. I: Impact of various nucleation processes


Simulations of a cumulonimbus cloud observed in the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers–Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE) with an advanced version of the Explicit Microphysics Model (EMM) are presented. The EMM has size-resolved aerosols and predicts the time evolution of sizes, bulk densities and axial ratios of ice particles. Observations by multiple aircraft in the troposphere provide inputs to the model, including observations of the ice nuclei and of the entire size distribution of condensation nuclei. Homogeneous droplet freezing is found to be the source of almost all of the ice crystals in the anvil updraught of this particular model cloud. Most of the simulated droplets that freeze to form anvil crystals appear to be nucleated by activation of aerosols far above cloud base in the interior of the cloud ('secondary' or 'in-cloud' droplet nucleation). This is partly because primary droplets formed at cloud base are invariably depleted by accretion before they can reach the anvil base in the updraught, which promotes an increase with height of the average supersaturation in the updraught aloft. More than half of these aerosols, activated far above cloud base, are entrained into the updraught of this model cloud from the lateral environment above about 5 km above mean sea level. This confirms the importance of remote sources of atmospheric aerosol for anvil glaciation. Other nucleation processes impinge indirectly upon the anvil glaciation by modifying the concentration of supercooled droplets in the upper levels of the mixed-phase region. For instance, the warm-rain process produces a massive indirect impact on the anvil crystal concentration, because it determines the mass of precipitation forming in the updraught. It competes with homogeneous freezing as a sink for cloud droplets. The effects from turbulent enhancement of the warm-rain process and from other nucleation processes on the anvil ice properties are assessed.

Additional Information

© 2005 Royal Meteorological Society. (Received 1 June 2004; revised 22 December 2004) This project has been supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA; NAG5-12056) as part of the CRYSTAL-FACE campaign. The first author was supported by Princeton University's AOS Program. The authors gratefully acknowledge Ann Fridlind and colleagues at NASA (Ames) who provided the tracer profiles used in setting up the EMM. The first author is grateful to Ruei-Fong Lin, Sonia Lasher-Trapp, Bjorn Stevens and Graham Feingold for illuminating discussions, and to Professor Alexander Khain for allowing some HUCM data to be used in the EMM.

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