Concerning the structure of some cumulus clouds which penetrated the high tropical troposphere
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Some extremely large oceanic trade-mind cumulonimbus clouds extending upwards of 40,000 ft. into a region of strong winds and intense vertical shear have been studied by means of time-lapse photography. A simultaneous still picture of the clouds taken a known distance and direction away from the motion pictures permits triangulation upon the clouds and calculation of the vertical and horizontal motions of several of the individual towers. By means of a nearby radiosonde observation, it is established that the air forming the strongest of these towers must have risen from near cloud base with little or no dilution of its buoyancy by mixing with the clear-air surroundings. The model of Malkus and Scorer (1954) concerning the erosion of cumulus towers is reviewed and tested upon these towers with satisfactory results. A minimum horizontal cloud dimension is apparently required for the production of undiluted towers. The horizontal motion of the clouds relative to the air is also estimated from the model and tested by the observations and the net upward transport of latent heat in water vapor is calculated approximately.
Originally issued as Reference No. 54-18, series later renamed WHOI-.
Suggested CitationTechnical Report: Malkus, Joanne Starr, Ronne, Claude, "Concerning the structure of some cumulus clouds which penetrated the high tropical troposphere", 1954-03, DOI:10.1575/1912/5424, https://hdl.handle.net/1912/5424
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