Entrainment versus Dilution in Tropical Deep Convection
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Entrainment versus Dilution in Tropical Deep Convection

  • 2017

  • Source: Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 74(11), 3725-3747
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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
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    The distinction between entrainment and dilution is investigated with cloud-resolving simulations of deep convection in a tropical environment. A method for estimating the rate of dilution by entrainment and detrainment is presented and calculated for a series of bubble simulations with a range of initial radii. Entrainment generally corresponds to dilution of convection, but the two quantities are not well correlated. Core dilution by entrainment is significantly reduced by the presence of a shell of moist air around the core. Dilution by entrainment also increases with increasing updraft velocity but only for sufficiently strong updrafts. Entrainment contributes significantly to the total net dilution, but detrainment and the various source/sink terms play large roles depending on the variable in question. Detrainment has a concentrating effect on average that balances out the dilution by entrainment. The experiments are also used to examine whether entrainment or dilution scale with cloud radius. The results support a weak negative relationship for dilution but not for entrainment. The sensitivity to resolution is briefly discussed. A toy Lagrangian thermal model is used to demonstrate the importance of the cloud shell as a thermodynamic buffer to reduce the dilution of the core by entrainment. The results suggest that explicit cloud heterogeneity may be a useful consideration for future convective parameterization development.
  • Source:
    Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 74(11), 3725-3747
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