Articles | Volume 16, issue 18
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 12127–12141, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-12127-2016
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 12127–12141, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-16-12127-2016

Research article 28 Sep 2016

Research article | 28 Sep 2016

Turbulence effects on warm-rain formation in precipitating shallow convection revisited

Axel Seifert1 and Ryo Onishi2 Axel Seifert and Ryo Onishi
  • 1Deutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach, Germany
  • 2Center for Earth Information Science and Technology, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama Kanagawa, Japan

Abstract. Two different collection kernels which include turbulence effects on the collision rate of liquid droplets are used as a basis to develop a parameterization of the warm-rain processes autoconversion, accretion, and self-collection. The new parameterization is tested and validated with the help of a 1-D bin microphysics model. Large-eddy simulations of the rain formation in shallow cumulus clouds confirm previous results that turbulence effects can significantly enhance the development of rainwater in clouds and the occurrence and amount of surface precipitation. The detailed behavior differs significantly for the two turbulence models, revealing a considerable uncertainty in our understanding of such effects. In addition, the large-eddy simulations show a pronounced sensitivity to grid resolution, which suggests that besides the effect of sub-grid small-scale isotropic turbulence which is parameterized as part of the collection kernel also the larger turbulent eddies play an important role for the formation of rain in shallow clouds.

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Short summary
In this study we investigate the effect of turbulence on rain formation in shallow clouds. Several formulations of the collision kernel for turbulent flows using different turbulence models have been suggested in recent years. Here we compare two formulations and find that, although both give a significant increase in collision rate, the differences are quite large, especially for high Reynolds numbers as they are observed in clouds.
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