AbstractThe entrainment–mixing process is key to the cloud’s dynamical and microphysical processes. However, to the best of our knowledge, no study has quantitatively linked entrainment rate and homogeneity of mixing. Addi- tionally, their combined effects on cloud droplet relative dispersion and physical mechanisms are even more unclear. This study analyzed the aircraft measurements of cumulus clouds collected in the Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems field campaign to identify these relationships. The relationship between the entrainment rate and homogeneous mixing degree was found to be moderately positive, and the underlying mechanisms related to mixing and evaporation time scales and environmental relative humidity were explored. The relationship between relative dispersion and entrainment rate changes from positive to negative with increasing entrainment rate, depending on the dominance of evaporation of large or small droplets. The relative dispersion first increases and then decreases with increasing homogeneous mixing degree, validating the results of previous model simulations. The results shed new light on understanding the interactions between cloud microphysics and cloud dynamics through turbulent entrainment and mixing processes.
Published: July 14, 2023