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  1. Abstract

    Supercell thunderstorms can produce heavy precipitation, and an improved understanding of entrainment may help to explain why. In Part I of this series, various mechanisms of entrainment were identified in the rotating stage of a single simulated supercell thunderstorm. The current study examines the strength and effectiveness of these mechanisms as a function of the environmental vertical wind shear in eight different supercell simulations. Entrainment is calculated directly as fluxes of air over the surface of the storm core; tracers are used to assess the resulting dilution of the moistest air ingested by the storm. Model microphysical rates are used to compare the impacts of entrainment on the efficiency of condensation/deposition of water vapor on hydrometeors within the core, and ultimately, upon precipitation production. Results show that the ascending “ribbons” of horizontal vorticity wrapping around the updraft contribute more to entrainment with increasing vertical wind shear, while turbulent eddies on the opposite side of the updraft contribute less. The storm-relative airstream introduces more low-level air into the storm core with increasing vertical wind shear. Thus, the total entrainment increases with increasing vertical wind shear, but the fractional entrainment decreases, yielding an increase in undiluted air within the storm core.more »As a result, the condensation efficiency within the storm core also increases with increasing vertical wind shear. Due to the increase in hydrometeors detrained aloft and the resulting enhanced evaporation as they fall, the precipitation efficiency evaluated using surface rainfall decreases with increasing vertical wind shear, as found in past studies.

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  2. Abstract The current study identifies and quantifies various mechanisms of entrainment, and their diluting effects, in the developing and mature stages of a simulated supercell thunderstorm. The two stages, differentiated by the lack or presence of a rotating updraft, are shown to entrain air by different, but related mechanisms that result from the strong vertical wind shear of the environment. The greatest entrainment rates in the developing stage result from the asymmetric overturning of large eddies near cloud top on the down-shear side. These rates are greater than those published in the literature for cumuli developing in environments lacking strong shear. Although the entrainment rate increases exponentially in time throughout the developing stage, successive cloud turrets help to replenish some of the lost buoyancy and condensate, allowing the nascent storm to develop further. During the mature stage, the greatest entrainment rates occur via “ribbons” of horizontal vorticity wrapping around the rotating updraft that ascend in time. The smaller width of the ribbons in comparison to the wider storm core limits their dilutive effects. Passive tracers placed in the low-level air ingested by the mature storm indicate that on average 20% of the core contains some undiluted air ingested from belowmore »the storm base, unaffected by any entrainment mechanism.« less
  3. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Weather and climate models are challenged by uncertainties and biases in simulating Southern Ocean (SO) radiative fluxes that trace to a poor understanding of cloud, aerosol, precipitation and radiative processes, and their interactions. Projects between 2016 and 2018 used in-situ probes, radar, lidar and other instruments to make comprehensive measurements of thermodynamics, surface radiation, cloud, precipitation, aerosol, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) and ice nucleating particles over the SO cold waters, and in ubiquitous liquid and mixed-phase cloudsnucleating particles over the SO cold waters, and in ubiquitous liquid and mixed-phase clouds common to this pristine environment. Data including soundings were collected from the NSF/NCAR G-V aircraft flying north-south gradients south of Tasmania, at Macquarie Island, and on the RV Investigator and RSV Aurora Australis. Synergistically these data characterize boundary layer and free troposphere environmental properties, and represent the most comprehensive data of this type available south of the oceanic polar front, in the cold sector of SO cyclones, and across seasons. Results show a largely pristine environments with numerous small and few large aerosols above cloud, suggesting new particle formation and limited long-range transport from continents, high variability in CCN and cloud droplet concentrations, and ubiquitous supercooled water in thin,more »multi-layered clouds, often with small-scale generating cells near cloud top. These observations demonstrate how cloud properties depend on aerosols while highlighting the importance of confirmed low clouds were responsible for radiation biases. The combination of models and observations is examining how aerosols and meteorology couple to control SO water and energy budgets.« less