Influence of Soil Moisture on Boundary Layer Cloud Development

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Abstract

The daytime interaction of the land surface with the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is studied using a coupled one-dimensional (column) land surface–ABL model. This is an extension of earlier work that focused on modeling the ABL for 31 May 1978 at Cabauw, Netherlands; previously, it was found that coupled land–atmosphere tests using a simple land surface scheme did not accurately represent surface fluxes and coupled ABL development. Here, findings from that earlier study on ABL parameterization are utilized, and include a more sophisticated land surface scheme. This land surface scheme allows the land–atmosphere system to respond interactively with the ABL. Results indicate that in coupled land–atmosphere model runs, realistic daytime surface fluxes and atmospheric profiles are produced, even in the presence of ABL clouds (shallow cumulus). Subsequently, the role of soil moisture in the development of ABL clouds is explored in terms of a new relative humidity tendency equation at the ABL top where a number of processes and interactions are involved. Among other issues, it is shown that decreasing soil moisture may actually lead to an increase in ABL clouds in some cases.
The daytime interaction of the land surface with the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) is studied using a coupled one-dimensional (column) land surface-ABL model. This is an extension of earlier work that focused on modeling the ABL for 31 May 1978 at Cabauw, Netherlands; previously, it was found that coupled land atmosphere tests using a simple land surface scheme did not accurately represent surface fluxes and coupled ABL development. Here, findings from that earlier study on ABL parameterization are utilized, and include a more sophisticated land surface scheme. This land surface scheme allows the land-atmosphere system to respond interactively with the ABL. Results indicate that in coupled land-atmosphere model runs, realistic daytime surface fluxes and atmospheric profiles are produced, even in the presence of ABL clouds (shallow cumulus). Subsequently, the role of soil moisture in the development of ABL clouds is explored in terms of a new relative humidity tendency equation at the ABL top where a number of processes and interactions are involved. Among other issues, it is shown that decreasing soil moisture may actually lead to an increase in ABL clouds in some cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-99
JournalJournal of Hydrometeorology
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • clouds
  • atmospheric boundary-layer
  • soil water
  • land surface
  • surface parameterization schemes
  • land-surface
  • daytime evolution
  • relative-humidity
  • solar-radiation
  • energy-balance
  • pine forest
  • eta-model
  • simulation
  • water

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