Multi-Platform Perspective of Shallow Convective Cloud Dynamics
Webinar Format: Zoom
Speaker: Katia Lamer, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Environmental and Climate Sciences Department
The complex nature and small size of shallow cumuli complicate their adequate representation in climate models. Robust observations of cloudiness and mass flux could serve as great targets and constraints for models. Doppler radars and lidars provide a unique opportunity to document the movement of cloud droplets and aerosols, respectively. Synergistic use of these two sensors thus provides a complete picture of dynamics in the lowest portion of the atmospheric column. That being said, interpreting measurements based on backscattered energy requires (1) understanding sensor performance and (2) designing post-processing techniques capable of extracting unbiased information. This talk will cover the basic principles that allowed us to capture observations of subsiding shells in shallow cumuli and of organized subcloud layer updrafts — two phenomena that are now believed to be ubiquitous features of shallow convection. A perspective will also be given about the next frontier in shallow cumuli research. Observations from Dopplerized spaceborne radars and/or scanning radars guided by multi-sensor agile adaptive sampling techniques could at last allow us to capture the multi-dimensional structure of clouds over their life cycle.