Multiyear summertime observations of daytime fair-weather cumuli at the ARM southern great plains facility

Arunchandra S. Chandra, Pavlos Kollias, Bruce A. Albrecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A long data record (14 yr) of ground-based observations at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site is analyzed to document the macroscopic and dynamical properties of daytime fair-weather cumulus clouds during summer months. First, a fuzzy logic-based algorithm is developed to eliminate insect radar echoes in the boundary layer that hinder the ability to develop representative cloud statistics. The refined dataset is used to document the daytime composites of fairweather cumulus clouds properties. Doppler velocities are processed for lower reflectivity thresholds that contain small cloud droplets having insignificant terminal velocities; thus, Doppler velocities are used as tracers of air motion. The algorithm is implemented to process the entire 14-yr dataset of cloud radar vertical velocity data. Composite diurnal variations of the cloud vertical velocity statistics, surface parameters, and profiles of updraft and downdraft fractions, bulk velocity of updrafts and downdrafts, and updraft and downdraft mass flux are calculated. Statistics on the cloud geometrical properties such as cloud thickness, cloud chord length, cloud spacing, and aspect ratios are calculated on the cloud scale. The present dataset provides a unique insight into the daytime evolution and statistical description of the turbulent structure inside fair-weather cumuli over land.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10031-10050
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Climate
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Algorithms
  • Climatology
  • Cumulus clouds
  • Radars/Radar observations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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