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Aircraft measurements of wave clouds

by Z. Cui, A. M. Blyth, K. N. Bower, J. Crosier, T. Choularton
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()
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In this paper, aircraft measurements are presented of liquid phase (ice-free) wave clouds made at temperatures greater than −5°C that formed over Scotland, UK. The horizontal variations of the vertical velocity across wave clouds display a distinct pattern. The maximum updraughts occur at the upshear flanks of the clouds and the strong downdraughts at the downshear flanks. The cloud droplet concentrations were a couple of hundreds per cubic centimetres, and the drops generally had a mean diameter between 15–45 μm. A small proportion of the drops were drizzle. The measurements presented here and in previous recent studies suggest a different interaction of dynamics and microphysics in wave clouds from the accepted model. The results in this paper provide a case for future numerical simulation of wave cloud and the interaction between wave and cloud.

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