Observations of the diurnal cycle of marine stratocumulus clouds and precipitation
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Observations of the Diurnal Cycle of Marine Stratocumulus Clouds and Precipitation. Casey Burleyson 1 , Sandra Yuter 1 , a nd Simon de Szoeke 2 1 North Carolina State University 2 Oregon State University. Goals.

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Observations of the diurnal cycle of marine stratocumulus clouds and precipitation

Observations of the Diurnal Cycle of Marine Stratocumulus Clouds and Precipitation

Casey Burleyson1, Sandra Yuter1,

and Simon de Szoeke2

1 North Carolina State University

2 Oregon State University


Goals
Goals Clouds

  • Document the diurnal variation of important features of the cloud deck to aid in validation of model output.

  • Examine to what degree drizzle varies in time and space.

  • Begin to understand the controlling factors that cause drizzle to start and stop.

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D ata from the r h brown
D Clouds ata from the R.H. Brown

EAST

WEST

Data were divided into two regions, east and west of 80°W, to account for longitudinal changes to boundary layer characteristics.

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C-Band Radar Sampling Clouds

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Surface observations
Surface Observations Clouds

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Cloud observations
Cloud Observations Clouds

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Boundary layer coupling
Boundary Layer Coupling Clouds

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Boundary layer mixing
Boundary Layer Mixing Clouds

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Conclusions
Conclusions Clouds

  • The diurnal cycle is clearly evident in every variable examined. Diurnal fluctuations in cloud depth, precipitation, and boundary layer mixing should be key features in simulations of STBLs.

  • Overnight the cloud depth is similar over all longitudes. The cloud deck thins rapidly after sunrise.

  • Heavy drizzle that occurs in the west is self-limiting, maximizing near 3 am. Lighter drizzle in the east only diminishes after the sun comes up.


Drizzle intensity distributions
Drizzle Intensity Distributions Clouds

R=aZb

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