Cloud Dynamics - 2nd Edition - ISBN: 9780123742667, 9780080921464

Cloud Dynamics, Volume 104

2nd Edition

Authors: Robert Houze, Jr.
eBook ISBN: 9780080921464
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123742667
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 25th July 2014
Page Count: 496
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Table of Contents

  • Dedication
  • Preface
  • List of Symbols
  • Part I: Fundamentals
    • Chapter 1: Types of Clouds in Earth's Atmosphere
      • Abstract
      • 1.1 Atmospheric Structure and Scales
      • 1.2 Cloud Types Identified Visually
      • 1.3 Precipitating Cloud Systems
      • 1.4 Satellite Cloud Climatology
    • Chapter 2: Atmospheric Dynamics
      • Abstract
      • 2.1 The Basic Equations2
      • 2.2 Balanced Flow
      • 2.3 Anelastic and Boussinesq Approximations
      • 2.4 Vorticity
      • 2.5 Potential Vorticity
      • 2.6 Perturbation Forms of the Equations
      • 2.7 Oscillations and Waves
      • 2.8 Adjustment to Geostrophic and Gradient Balance
      • 2.9 Instabilities
      • 2.10 Representation of Eddy Fluxes
      • 2.11 The Planetary Boundary Layer
    • Chapter 3: Cloud Microphysics
      • Abstract
      • 3.1 Microphysics of Warm Clouds
      • 3.2 Microphysics of Cold Clouds
      • 3.3 Types of Microphysical Processes and Categories of Water Substance in Clouds
      • 3.4 Water-Continuity Equations
      • 3.5 Bin Water-Continuity Models
      • 3.6 Bulk Water-Continuity Models
      • 3.7 Water-Continuity Modeling of Cold Clouds Using Generalized Mass-Size and Area-Size Relations65
    • Chapter 4: Remote Sensing of Clouds and Precipitation
      • Abstract
      • 4.1 Absorption, Scattering, and the Microwave Domain
      • 4.2 Passive Microwave Sensing of Precipitation
      • 4.3 Radar Sensing of Clouds and Precipitation
      • 4.4 Radar Reflectivity from Returned Power
      • 4.5 Radar Polarimetry
      • 4.6 Relating Radar Measurements to Hydrometeor Concentration, Precipitation, Fall Velocity, and Cloud-System Structure
      • 4.7 Estimating Areal Precipitation from Radar Data
      • 4.8 Determining Cloud Morphology from Radar Data
      • 4.9 Doppler Radar
  • Part II: Phenomena
    • Chapter 5: Clouds in Shallow Layers at Low, Middle, and High Levels
      • Abstract
      • 5.1 Fog and Stratus Occurring in a Boundary Layer Cooled from Below
      • 5.2 Stratocumulus Forming in Boundary Layers Heated from Below
      • 5.3 Altostratus and Altocumulus
      • 5.4 Cirriform Clouds
    • Chapter 6: Nimbostratus and the Separation of Convective and Stratiform Precipitation
      • Abstract
      • 6.1 Definition of Stratiform Precipitation and How It Differs from Convective Precipitation
      • 6.2 The Contrasting Radar-Echo Structures of Stratiform and Convective Precipitation
      • 6.3 Microphysical Observations in Nimbostratus and Implied Vertical Air Motions
      • 6.4 Role of Convection in Regions of Stratiform Precipitation
      • 6.5 Stratiform Precipitation with Shallow Overturning Convective Cells Aloft
      • 6.6 Stratiform Precipitation Produced by Deep Convection
      • 6.7 Radiative Effects on Nimbostratus
      • 6.8 Separation of Convective and Stratiform Precipitation
    • Chapter 7: Basic Cumulus Dynamics
      • Abstract
      • 7.1 Buoyancy
      • 7.2 The Pressure-Perturbation Field Associated with Buoyancy
      • 7.3 Entrainment and Detrainment
      • 7.4 Vorticity and Dynamic Pressure Perturbation Forces
    • Chapter 8: Cumulonimbus and Severe Storms
      • Abstract
      • 8.1 The Basic Cumulonimbus Cloud
      • 8.2 Multicell Storms
      • 8.3 Supercell Storms
      • 8.4 Environmental Conditions Favoring Different Types of Deep Convective Storms16
      • 8.5 Supercell Dynamics21
      • 8.6 Tornadogenesis in Supercell Storms
      • 8.7 Ground Tracks of Supercell Tornadoes
      • 8.8 Non-Supercell Tornadoes and Waterspouts
      • 8.9 The Tornado
      • 8.10 Downbursts and Microbursts
      • 8.11 Gust Fronts, Derechos, and Arcus Clouds
      • 8.12 Lines of Convective Storms
    • Chapter 9: Mesoscale Convective Systems
      • Abstract
      • 9.1 General Characteristics
      • 9.2 Leading-Line/Trailing-Stratiform Structure
      • 9.3 Bulk Dynamical View
      • 9.4 Details of the Convective Region
      • 9.5 Details of the Stratiform Region
      • 9.6 Divergence, Diabatic Processes, and Vorticity
    • Chapter 10: Clouds and Precipitation in Tropical Cyclones
      • Abstract
      • 10.1 Definitions, Climatology, and the Synoptic-Scale Contexts of Tropical Cyclones
      • 10.2 Clouds Involved in Tropical Cyclogenesis
      • 10.3 Overview of the Mature Tropical Cyclone
      • 10.4 The Eye
      • 10.5 Dynamics of the Mean Eyewall Cloud
      • 10.6 Substructure and Asymmetry of the Eyewall Cloud
      • 10.7 The Region Beyond the Eyewall: Rainbands and Eyewall Replacement
    • Chapter 11: Clouds and Precipitation in Extratropical Cyclones
      • Abstract
      • 11.1 Structure and Dynamics of a Baroclinic Wave
      • 11.2 Circulation at a Front
      • 11.3 Horizontal Patterns of Frontal Zones in Developing Cyclones
      • 11.4 Clouds and Precipitation in a Frontal Cyclone
      • 11.5 Clouds in Polar Lows
    • Chapter 12: Clouds and Precipitation Associated with Hills and Mountains
      • Abstract
      • 12.1 Shallow Clouds in Stable Upslope Flow
      • 12.2 Wave Clouds Produced by Long Ridges1
      • 12.3 Clouds Associated with Flow over Isolated Peaks
      • 12.4 Effects of Mountains and Hills on Precipitation Mechanisms
      • 12.5 Basic Scenarios by Which Hills and Mountains Affect Precipitating Clouds
      • 12.6 How Major Precipitating Cloud Systems Are Affected by Mountains
  • References
  • Index


As models of the Earth/atmosphere system and observations become ever more sophisticated, and concerns about climate change and societal impacts of extreme weather and its forecasting grow, understanding the role of clouds in the atmosphere is increasingly vital. Cloud Dynamics, Second Edition provides the essential information needed to understand how clouds affect climate and weather.

This comprehensive book examines the underlying physics and dynamics of every specific type of cloud that occurs in the Earth's atmosphere, showing how clouds differ dynamically depending on whether they occur over oceans or mountains, or as parts of atmospheric storms, such as thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, or warm and cold fronts. Covering both the microphysical and macrophysical aspects of clouds, the book treats all of the physical scales involved in cloud processes, from the microscale of the individual drops and ice particles up to scales of storms in which the clouds occur.

As observational technology advances with increasingly sophisticated remote sensing capabilities, detailed understanding of how the dynamics and physics of clouds affect the quantities being measured is of paramount importance. This book underpins the work necessary for proper interpretation of these observations, now and in the future.

Key Features

  • Provides the holistic understanding of clouds needed to pursue research on topics vital to life on Earth
  • Provides in-depth understanding of all types of clouds over all regions of Earth, from the poles to the equator
  • Includes detailed physical and dynamical insight into the entire spectrum of clouds populating Earth's atmosphere


Advanced atmospheric science students, operational meteorologists, and agencies tasked with weather hazard mitigation (ie predicting and minimizing effects of flooding).


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About the Authors

Robert Houze, Jr. Author

Professor Houze received his B.S. in Meteorology from Texas A&M University in 1967. He received his Master's and Ph.D. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington in 1972. In 1988-89 he was Guest Professor in the Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. In 1996 he was Houghton Lecturer at the Center for Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2006 he was Thompson Lecturer at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He has published about 200 research articles and has written a graduate textbook entitled Cloud Dynamics. In 1982, Professor Houze was awarded both the American Meteorological Society's Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award for his research and the Society's Editor's award for his reviews of papers for the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. In 1984, he was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. In 1989 he won the NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories' Distinguished Author's Award. In 2002, he was designated as a “Highly Cited Researcher” by the Institute of Scientific Information (h-index 56). In 2006, Professor Houze received the American Meteorological Society's Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, which is the highest honor that the Society can bestow on an atmospheric scientist. In 2012 he was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and he delivered the Bjerknes Memorial Lecture at the American Geophysical Union's 2012 annual meeting. In 2013 he will be inducted as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his fundamental research on cloud dynamics.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Washington, USA