Articles | Volume 12, issue 20
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 9881–9892, 2012
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 9881–9892, 2012

Research article 29 Oct 2012

Research article | 29 Oct 2012

Aircraft measurements of wave clouds

Z. Cui1, A. M. Blyth1,2, K. N. Bower3, J. Crosier2,3, and T. Choularton3 Z. Cui et al.
  • 1Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, UK
  • 2National Centre for Atmospheric Science, UK
  • 3Centre for Atmospheric Science, SEAES, University of Manchester, UK

Abstract. 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.

Final-revised paper