Convective cloud vertical velocity and mass-flux characteristics from radar wind profiler observations during GoAmazon2014/5 Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractA radar wind profiler data set collected during the 2year Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Observations and Modeling of the Green Ocean Amazon (GoAmazon2014/5) campaign is used to estimate convective cloud vertical velocity, area fraction, and mass flux profiles. Vertical velocity observations are presented using cumulative frequency histograms and weighted mean profiles to provide insights in a manner suitable for global climate model scale comparisons (spatial domains from 20km to 60km). Convective profile sensitivity to changes in environmental conditions and seasonal regime controls is also considered. Aggregate and ensemble average vertical velocity, convective area fraction, and mass flux profiles, as well as magnitudes and relative profile behaviors, are found consistent with previous studies. Updrafts and downdrafts increase in magnitude with height to midlevels (6 to 10km), with updraft area also increasing with height. Updraft mass flux profiles similarly increase with height, showing a peak in magnitude near 8km. Downdrafts are observed to be most frequent below the freezing level, with downdraft area monotonically decreasing with height. Updraft and downdraft profile behaviors are further stratified according to environmental controls. These results indicate stronger vertical velocity profile behaviors under higher convective available potential energy and lower lowlevel moisture conditions. Sharp contrasts in convective area fraction and mass flux profiles are most pronounced when retrievals are segregated according to Amazonian wet and dry season conditions. During this deployment, wet season regimes favored higher domain mass flux profiles, attributed to more frequent convection that offsets weaker average convective cell vertical velocities.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Giangrande, S. E., Toto, T., Jensen, M. P., Bartholomew, M. J., Feng, Z., Protat, A., ... Machado, L.

citation count

  • 62

complete list of authors

  • Giangrande, Scott E||Toto, Tami||Jensen, Michael P||Bartholomew, Mary Jane||Feng, Zhe||Protat, Alain||Williams, Christopher R||Schumacher, Courtney||Machado, Luiz

publication date

  • November 2016