David M. Schultz, Adam J. Durant, Jerry M. Straka, Timothy J. Garrett

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    Doswell has proposed a mechanism for mammatus called double-diffusive convection, the mechanism responsible for salt fingers in the ocean. The physics of salt fingers and mammatus are different. Unlike the ocean where the diffusivity is related to molecular motions within solution, the hydrometeors in clouds are affected by inertial and gravitational forces. Doswell misinterprets the vertical temperature profiles through mammatus and fails to understand the role of settling in volcanic ash clouds. Furthermore, given that mixing is a much more effective means of transferring heat in the atmosphere and given idealized numerical model simulations of mammatus showing that the destabilizing effect of subcloud sublimation is an effective mechanism for mammatus, this reply argues that double-diffusive convection is unlikely to explain mammatus, either in cumulonimbus anvils or in volcanic ash clouds. © 2008 American Meteorological Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1095-1097
    Number of pages2
    JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


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