Entrainment and mixing in stratocumulus: Effects of a new explicit subgrid-scale scheme for large-eddy simulations with particle-based microphysics
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Entrainment and mixing in stratocumulus: Effects of a new explicit subgrid-scale scheme for large-eddy simulations with particle-based microphysics
  • Published Date:

    2019

  • Source:
    Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 76(7),1955–1973
Filetype[PDF-1.09 MB]


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  • Description:
    The entrainment and mixing of free-tropospheric air is an essential component of the observed microphysical structure of stratocumulus clouds. Since the relevant scales involved in this process are usually smaller than the grid spacing of typical large-eddy simulations (LESs), their correct representation is difficult. To adequately accommodate these small-scale processes, we apply a recently developed approach that explicitly simulates LES subgrid-scale (SGS) turbulence fluctuation of supersaturation using the one-dimensional linear eddy model. As a result of reduced numerical diffusion and the ability to explicitly represent the SGS distribution of liquid water and supersaturation, entrainment rates tend to be lower in the new approach compared to simulations without it. Furthermore, cloud holes comprising free-tropospheric air with negligible liquid water are shown to persist longer in the stratocumulus deck. Their mixing with the cloud is shown to be more sensitive to the microphysical composition of the cloud as a result of the explicitly resolved inhomogeneous mixing, which is also confirmed analytically. Moreover, inhomogeneous mixing is shown to decrease the droplet concentration and to increase droplet growth significantly, in contrast to previous studies. All in all, the simulations presented can be seen as a first step to bridge the gap between ultra-high-resolution direct numerical simulation and LES, allowing an appropriate representation of small-scale mixing processes, together with the large-scale dynamics of a stratocumulus system.
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