From Sugar to Flowers: A Transition of Shallow Cumulus Organization During ATOMIC Public Deposited

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  • The Atlantic Tradewind Ocean-Atmosphere Mesoscale Interaction Campaign (ATOMIC) took place in January–February, 2020. It was designed to understand the relationship between shallow convection and the large-scale environment in the trade-wind regime. A Lagrangian large eddy simulation, following the trajectory of a boundary-layer airmass, can reproduce a transition of trade cumulus organization from “sugar” to “flower” clouds with cold pools, observed on February 2–3. The simulation is driven with reanalysis large-scale meteorology, and in-situ aerosol data from ATOMIC and its joint field study EUREC4A. During the transition, large-scale upward motion deepens the cloud layer. The total water path and optical depth increase, especially in the moist regions where flowers aggregate. This is due to mesoscale circulation that renders a net convergence of total water in the already moist and cloudy regions, strengthening the organization. An additional simulation shows that stronger large scale upward motion reinforces the mesoscale circulation and accelerates the organization process by strengthening the cloud-layer mesoscale buoyant turbulence kinetic energy production.


Date Issued
  • 2021
Academic Affiliation
Journal Title
Journal Issue/Number
  • 10
Journal Volume
  • 13
Last Modified
  • 2022-07-28
Resource Type
Rights Statement
  • 1942-2466