Human-induced land cover modifications impact the planetary boundary layer's (PBL) thermal and moisture regimes on mesoscales. We investigate the association of croplands, forest, and the crop-forest "boundary" (CFB) with convective-cloud development (timing, amount) for three target areas (TAs) in the U.S. Midwest Corn Belt, during the summer seasons (JJA) 1991-98. For each land cover, hourly satellite-retrieved albedo and cloud-top temperature values are composited for three classes of mid-tropospheric synoptic circulation. On days with the strongest anticyclonicity, there are no consistent differences in convection related to land cover type: Cloud development is regionalized and tied primarily to synoptic conditions. However, on days having weaker anticyclonicity the CFB is the dominant site of free convection, suggesting that Non-Classical Mesoscale Circulations (NCMCs) between cropped and adjacent forest areas may operate when reduced subsidence in the mid-troposphere does not effectively cap the PBL. Index terms: Land/atmosphere interactions (3322), Mesoscale meteorology (3329), Climate dynamics (1620), Anthropogenic effects (1803).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)