Frictional dissipation in a precipitating atmosphere

Olivier Pauluis, V. Balaji, Isaac M. Held

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The frictional dissipation in the shear zone surrounding falling hydrometeors is estimated to be 2-4 W m-2 in the Tropics. A numerical model of radiative-convective equilibrium with resolved three-dimensional moist convection confirms this estimate and shows that the precipitation-related dissipation is much larger than the dissipation associated with the turbulent energy cascade from the convective scale. Equivalently, the work performed by moist convection is used primarily to lift water rather than generate kinetic energy of the convective airflow. This fact complicates attempts to use the entropy budget to derive convective velocity scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)989-994
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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