Convective and Turbulent Motions in Nonprecipitating Cu. Part I: Method of Separation of Convective and Turbulent Motions

Mark Pinsky, Eshkol Eytan, Ilan Koren, Orit Altaratz, Alexander Khain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Atmospheric motions in clouds and cloud surroundings have a wide range of scales, from several kilometers to centimeters. These motions have different impacts on cloud dynamics and microphysics. Larger-scale motions (hereafter referred to as convective motions) are responsible for mass transport over distances comparable with cloud scale, while motions of smaller scales (hereafter referred to as turbulent motions) are stochastic and responsible for mixing and cloud dilution. This distinction substantially simplifies the analysis of dynamic and microphysical processes in clouds. The present research is Part I of the study aimed at describing the method for separating the motion scale into a convective component and a turbulent component. An idealized flow is constructed, which is a sum of an initially prescribed field of the convective velocity with updrafts in the cloud core and downdrafts outside the core, and a stochastic turbulent velocity field obeying the turbulent properties, including the 25/3 law and the 2/3 structure function law. A wavelet method is developed allowing separation of the velocity field into the convective and turbulent components, with parameter values being in a good agreement with those prescribed initially. The efficiency of the method is demonstrated by an example of a vertical velocity field of a cumulus cloud simulated using the System for Atmospheric Modeling (SAM) with bin microphysics and resolution of 10 m. It is shown that vertical velocity in clouds indeed can be represented as a sum of convective velocity (forming zone of cloud updrafts and subsiding shell) and a stochastic velocity obeying laws of homogeneous and isotropic turbulence.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2307-2321
Number of pages15
JournalJournals of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Meteorological Society.


  • Convection
  • Cumulus clouds
  • Filtering techniques
  • Large eddy simulations
  • Mixing
  • Turbulence


Dive into the research topics of 'Convective and Turbulent Motions in Nonprecipitating Cu. Part I: Method of Separation of Convective and Turbulent Motions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this