GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

GFDL Cloud-System-Resolving Model

A three-dimensional, elastic model with radiative transfer and prognostic cloud microphysics is a valuable tool to study tropical convective systems, These systems play a crucial role in the energy balance of the earth-atmosphere system. Animation of an integration of the model over the convectively active portions of a typical easterly wave in the east Atlantic shows the coupling between cloud microphysics and radiation as the system evolves from early stages dominated by cumulus towers to a mature stage dominated by a mesoscale anvil in the upper troposphere. (The green surfaces enclose total condensate concentrations exceeding .25 g/kg. The red surfaces enclose radiative heating in excess of 14 K/day, and the blue surfaces enclose radiative cooling in excess of 16 K/day.) Model development and visualization in collaboration with Chuck Seman, Rick Hemler, and John Sheldon.