It is often assumed in parcel theory calculations, numerical models, and cumulus parameterizations that moist static energy (MSE) is adiabatically conserved. However, the adiabatic conservation of MSE is only approximate because of the assumption of hydrostatic balance. Two alternative variables are evaluated here: MSE − IB and MSE + KE, wherein IB is the path integral of buoyancy (
Common assumptions in temperature lapse rate formulas for lifted air parcels include neglecting mixing, hydrostatic balance, the removal of all condensate once it forms (pseudoadiabatic), and/or the retention of all condensate within the parcel (adiabatic). These formulas are commonly derived from the conservation of entropy, which leads to errors when nonequilibrium mixedphase condensate is present. To evaluate these assumptions, a new general lapse rate formula is derived from an expression for energy conservation, rather than entropy conservation. This new formula incorporates mixing of the parcel with its surroundings, relaxes the hydrostatic assumption, allows for nonequilibrium mixedphase condensate, and can be formulated for pseudoadiabatic or adiabatic ascent. The new formula is shown to exactly conserve entropy for reversible ascent. Predictions by the new formula are compared to that of older and less general formulas. The errors in previous formulas arise from the assumption of hydrostatic balance, which results in considerable warm biases due to the neglect of the energy sink from buoyancy. Predictions of ascent with entrainment using the new formula are then compared to parcel properties along trajectories in large eddy simulations. Simulated parcel properties are better predicted by the formula using a diluted analogy to adiabatic ascent, wherein condensate is diluted at the same rate as other parcel properties, than by the diluted analogy to pseudoadiabatic ascent, wherein all condensate is removed. These results suggest that CAPE should be computed with adiabatic, rather than pseudoadiabatic, parcel ascent.
more » « less Award ID(s):
 1648681
 NSFPAR ID:
 10364310
 Publisher / Repository:
 American Meteorological Society
 Date Published:
 Journal Name:
 Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
 Volume:
 79
 Issue:
 3
 ISSN:
 00224928
 Format(s):
 Medium: X Size: p. 815836
 Size(s):
 p. 815836
 Sponsoring Org:
 National Science Foundation
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