Characterization of cumulus cloud fields using trajectories in the center of gravity versus water mass phase space: 1. Cloud tracking and phase space description

Reuven H. Heiblum, Orit Altaratz, Ilan Koren*, Graham Feingold, Alexander B. Kostinski, Alexander P. Khain, Mikhail Ovchinnikov, Erick Fredj, Guy Dagan, Lital Pinto, Ricki Yaish, Qian Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We study the evolution ofwarmconvective cloud fields using large eddy simulations of continental and trade cumulus. Individual clouds are tracked a posteriori from formation to dissipation using a 3-D cloud-tracking algorithm, and results are presented in the phase space of center of gravity altitude versus cloud liquidwatermass (CvMspace). The CvMspace is shown to contain rich information on cloud field characteristics, cloud morphology, and common cloud development pathways, together facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the cloud field. In this part we show how themeteorological (thermodynamic) conditions that determine the cloud properties are projected on the CvMphase space and how changes in the initial conditions affect the clouds’ trajectories in this space. This part sets the stage for a detailed microphysical analysis that will be shown in part II.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6336-6355
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013)/ERC grant agreement 306965. M.O.’s and G.F.’s contributions are supported in part by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Biological and Environmental Research under the Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Program. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is operated by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy under contract DE-AC06-76RLO1830. A.B.K. was supported, in part, by NSF AGS-1119164. The authors acknowledge Marat Khairoutdinov for making SAM model available for this study, available at: http://rossby.msrc. The SBM microphysics scheme was developed and implement by A.P.K. and M.O. Simulations setup details are available in the appendix of [Siebesma et al., 2003] for BOMEX case study and 10.3334/ ORNLDAAC/1114 for AMAZON case study. We thank the HPC staff in Weizmann computer center for helping with technical modeling issues and the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to this work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


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