Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Macro- and Microphysical Characteristics of Precipitating and Non-Precipitating Stratocumulus Clouds over Eastern China

Version 1 : Received: 29 March 2018 / Approved: 29 March 2018 / Online: 29 March 2018 (09:03:22 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Li, S.; Li, Y.; Sun, G.; Lu, Z. Macro- and Microphysical Characteristics of Precipitating and Non-Precipitating Stratocumulus Clouds over Eastern China. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 237. Li, S.; Li, Y.; Sun, G.; Lu, Z. Macro- and Microphysical Characteristics of Precipitating and Non-Precipitating Stratocumulus Clouds over Eastern China. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 237.

Journal reference: Atmosphere 2018, 9, 237
DOI: 10.3390/atmos9070237

Abstract

Stratocumulus (Sc) is the most common cloud type in China. Sc clouds may or may not be accompanied by various types of precipitation that are representative of different macro- and microphysical characteristics. The finely resolved CloudSat data products are used in this study to quantitatively investigate the macro- and microphysical characteristics of precipitating and non-precipitating Sc (PS and NPS, respectively) clouds over Eastern China (EC). Based on statistical information extracted from the CloudSat data, Sc clouds are highly likely to occur alone, in association with liquid precipitation, or in association with drizzle over 25.65% of EC. The cloud bases of NPS clouds are higher than those of PS clouds, although the latter display higher cloud top heights and thicker cloud thicknesses. The spatial distributions of microphysical characteristics differ between PS and NPS clouds. The magnitudes of microphysical characteristics in NPS clouds are relatively small and decrease with height, whereas the magnitudes of microphysical characteristics in PS clouds are relatively large and peak in response to certain circulation patterns and over certain terrain. The variations in microphysical characteristics in Sc clouds with height and contoured frequency by altitude diagrams (CFADs) of radar reflectivity may indicate that different microphysical processes operate in PS and NPS clouds. In NPS clouds, hydrometeor particles accumulate by coalescence as they rise; once the particles are too large to be supported by updrafts, the cloud droplets form raindrops. In PS clouds, raindrops increase continuously in size via collision-coalescence processes as they fall. The levels between 2.5 and 3.0 km represent the space where particles grow most rapidly. Particles are affected by updrafts and accumulate at levels between 2.5 and 1.0 km as height decreases.

Subject Areas

stratocumulus; cloud physical characteristics; eastern China

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