Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-59
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-59
 
14 Feb 2022
14 Feb 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP and is expected to appear here in due course.

Momentum fluxes from airborne wind measurements in three cumulus cases over land

Ada Mariska Koning1, Louise Nuijens1, and Christian Mallaun2 Ada Mariska Koning et al.
  • 1Delft University of Technology
  • 2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt

Abstract. This study combines airborne Doppler Wind Lidar (DWL) observations with high-frequency in situ wind measurements from a gust probe, a combination that to our knowledge has not been used before. The two measurement techniques show a similar mean in the wind components throughout the flights and are then used to study momentum transport in relation to shallow cumulus over land. We present three case studies ranging from forced cumulus humilis to thicker clouds associated with stronger popcorn-like convection after a cold front passage. The wind profiles obtained with the DWL are helpful in explaining the momentum fluxes that are calculated from the 100 Hz in situ data using the eddy covariance method. Most of the momentum flux profiles revealed down-gradient momentum transport that was generally strongest within the mixed-layer and decreasing towards cloud tops. Comparing clear-sky and cloud-topped transects, the cloudy skies revealed a substantial enhancement in the mixed-layer momentum flux (more than twice as much). On one track during the third flight, after a post-cold-front passage and displaying thicker clouds, shows a momentum flux profile that did not decrease linearly with height as expected from shear-driven small-scale turbulence. The momentum in the mixed layer was very small, but a very strong flux has been observed in the cloud layer. Moreover, the updraft contribution to the flux was much larger in this case than in all other tracks that have been flown during the campaign. Last, we look into how much flux the different scales contribute to the overall transport. There we find that the largest scales (up to 7 km) usually carry most flux. However, sometimes the larger scales have opposite contribution to the flux than the scales smaller than 7 km, which can then result in a smaller or almost no net flux.

Ada Mariska Koning et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-59', Margaret LeMone, 08 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Reviewer CFairall Comment on acp-2022-59', Christopher Fairall, 08 Mar 2022
  • AC1: 'Final response to reviews', Mariska Koning, 08 May 2022

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-59', Margaret LeMone, 08 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Reviewer CFairall Comment on acp-2022-59', Christopher Fairall, 08 Mar 2022
  • AC1: 'Final response to reviews', Mariska Koning, 08 May 2022

Ada Mariska Koning et al.

Ada Mariska Koning et al.

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Short summary
Wind measurements from mixed layer to cloud top are scarce, causing a lack of knowledge on wind mixing between and within these layers. We use airborne observations of wind profiles and local wind at high frequency to study wind transport in cloud fields. A case with thick clouds had its maximum transport in the cloud layer, which was not expected from turbulence theory. This was caused by eddies > 700 m. In other cases large eddies undid transport of smaller eddies resulting in no net transport.
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