Stratocumulus mesoscale cellular convection growth.
- Initially, a stratus/stratocumulus layer is present
at the top of a shallow (500 m depth) boundary layer which deepens
gradually to around 1500-2000 m
as is passes over increasing sea surface temperatures. Initially,
there is little cellular structure.
- The domain size is 500x500 km (GOES-10 4km resolution
visible channel data)
with the central position initially
at 32.5 N, 122 W. The central position of the final image is
20.3 N, 139W. The Lagrangian trajectory was obtained using
NOAA Hysplit trajectory model
- Notice how the cells grow in size from smaller than the
4km image resolution to around 40-50 km over the duration of the
evolution. The mesoscale circulations are associated with the
decoupling of the boundary layer (into a dry well-mixed surface
layer and a separate cloud layer). The bright regions are
caused by local enhancement of the
stratocumulus layer by penetrating cumulus elements rising from
the top of the surface layer.
CLICK RELOAD TO RERUN ANIMATION
- For the first three days the cloud fraction remains high
but on the fourth day the cloud field becomes more broken.