Aircraft measurements of wave clouds

by Z. Cui, a. M. Blyth, K. N. Bower, J. Crosier, T. Choularton
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics ()


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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