On the distribution of cloud top heights based on stochastic forcing

Article English OPEN
Fraedrich, Klaus (2011)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Tellus A (issn: 1600-0870, eissn: 0280-6495)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/tellusa.v37i2.11664
  • Subject:
    arxiv: Astrophysics::Galaxy Astrophysics | Physics::Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics

Irregular small-scale motions, which are introduced into a one-dimensional entraining jet lead to a random cloud with additive stochastic forcing. These clouds are characterized by probability distributions of the thermodynamic cloud properties. Applying a first-passage analysis, probability distributions for maximum cloud top heights can be deduced. In the disturbed tropical atmosphere, random clouds reveal a bimodal probability distribution of cloud top heights, which is essentially due to the mid-tropospheric minimum of the moist static energy. They represent deep and shallow convection. If separated, each scale may be approximated by a log-normal distribution. Some aspects of the competition between these two cloud scales are evaluated.DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0870.1985.tb00279.x
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