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On the effects of large-scale environment and surface types on convective cloud characteristics over Darwin, Australia

Kumar, V. and Protat, A. and May, P. and Jakob, C. and Penide, G. and Kumar, Sushil and Davies, L. (2013) On the effects of large-scale environment and surface types on convective cloud characteristics over Darwin, Australia. Monthly Weather Review, 141 (4). pp. 1358-1374. ISSN 0027-0644

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Two seasons of Darwin, Australia, C-band polarimetric (CPOL) research radar, radiosoundings, and lightning data are examined to study the relative influence of the large-scale atmospheric regimes and the underlying surface types on tropical convective cloud properties and their diurnal evolution. The authors find that in the ‘‘deep westerly’’ regime, which corresponds to the monsoon period, the convective cloud occurrence rate is highest, consistent with its highest relative humidity. However, these convective clouds have relatively low cloud-top heights, smaller-than-average cell volumes, and are electrically least active. In this regime, the cloud cell volume does not vary significantly across different underlying surfaces and afternoon convective activity is suppressed. Thus, the picture emerging is that the convective cloud activity in the deep westerly regime is primarily regulated by the large-scale conditions. The remaining regimes (‘‘easterly,’’ ‘‘shallow westerly,’’ and ‘‘moist easterly’’) also demonstrate strong dependence on the large-scale forcing and a secondary dependence on the underlying surface type. The easterly regime has a small convective cloud occurrence rate and low cloud heights but higher lightning counts per convective cloud. The other two regimes have moderate convective cloud occurrence rates and larger cloud sizes. The easterly, shallow westerly, and moist easterly regimes exhibit a strong, clearly defined semidiurnal convective cloud occurrence pattern, with peaks in the early morning and afternoon periods. The cell onset times in these three regimes depend on the combination of local time and the underlying surface.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Engineering and Physics
Depositing User: Sushil Kumar
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2013 22:53
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2016 00:48

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