A cloud-evaporation parameterization for general circulation models

M. E. Schlesinger, J. H. Oh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A cloud consists of I "cloudlets', each comprising cloud droplets with radii from zero to rmax, the latter value depending on the drop size distribution (DSD). Evaporation occurs only within the EZ comprised of J ≤ I cloudlets. When the cloudlet at cloud edge evaporates, the EZ progresses one cloudlet into the cloud's interior. This eventually results in evaporation of the cloud in time tE = K(H/h)r2 max(1 - Se)-1, where H is the cloud thickness, h the EZ thickness, Se the environmental saturation ratio, and K a constant. Values of tE(1 - Se) versus h are presented for eight observed DSDs. For use in atmospheric general circulation models (GCMs), the cloud evaporation process is represented by dm/dt = -(1 - Se)m/τ, where m is the cloud-water mixing ratio and τ = K(H/h)r2 maxn-1. With parameter n chosen sufficiently large, a GCM cloud will evaporate virtually entirely in time tE, for example, 99.3% for n = 5. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1239-1248
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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