Articles | Volume 21, issue 21
Research article
12 Nov 2021
Research article |  | 12 Nov 2021

A climatology of trade-wind cumulus cold pools and their link to mesoscale cloud organization

Raphaela Vogel, Heike Konow, Hauke Schulz, and Paquita Zuidema

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Cited articles

Aemisegger, F., Vogel, R., Graf, P., Dahinden, F., Villiger, L., Jansen, F., Bony, S., Stevens, B., and Wernli, H.: How Rossby wave breaking modulates the water cycle in the North Atlantic trade wind region, Weather Clim. Dynam., 2, 281–309,, 2021. a, b
Bony, S. and Dufresne, J.-L.: Marine boundary layer clouds at the heart of tropical cloud feedback uncertainties in climate models, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L20806,, 2005. a
Bony, S., Stevens, B., Ament, F., Bigorre, S., Chazette, P., Crewell, S., Delanoë, J., Emanuel, K., Farrell, D., Flamant, C., Gross, S., Hirsch, L., Karstensen, J., Mayer, B., Nuijens, L., Ruppert, J. H., Sandu, I., Siebesma, P., Speich, S., Szczap, F., Totems, J., Vogel, R., Wendisch, M., and Wirth, M.: EUREC4A: A Field Campaign to Elucidate the Couplings Between Clouds, Convection and Circulation, Surv. Geophys., 38, 1529–1568,, 2017. a
Bony, S., Schulz, H., Vial, J., and Stevens, B.: Sugar, Gravel, Fish, and Flowers: Dependence of Mesoscale Patterns of Trade-Wind Clouds on Environmental Conditions, Geophys. Res. Lett., 47, e2019GL085988,, 2020. a, b, c
Brueck, M., Nuijens, L., and Stevens, B.: On the seasonal and synoptic time-scale variability of the north atlantic trade wind region and its low-level clouds, J. Atmos. Sci., 72, 1428–1446,, 2015. a, b, c, d
Short summary
The shallow cumulus clouds that populate the trade-wind regions can produce substantial amounts of rain. Before reaching the surface, part of the rain can evaporate and form pools of cold air that spread at the surface as density currents. We use 10 years of data from Barbados to show that such cold pools occur on 3 out of 4 d, that cold-pool periods are 90 % cloudier relative to the average winter conditions, and that they are connected to specific patterns of mesoscale cloud organization.
Final-revised paper