Publication Abstracts

Poore et al. 1995

Poore, K.D., J. Wang, and W.B. Rossow, 1995: Cloud layer thicknesses from a combination of surface and upper-air observations. J. Climate, 8, 550-568, doi:10.1175/1520-0442(1995)008<0550:CLTFAC>2.0.CO;2.

Cloud layer thicknesses are derived from base and top altitudes by combining 14 years (1975-1988) of surface and air observation at 63 sites in the Northern Hemisphere. Rawinsonde observations are employed to determine the locations of cloud-layer top and base by testing for dewpoint temperature depressions below some threshold value. Surface observations serve as quality checks on the rawinsonde-determined cloud properties and provide cloud amount and cloud-type information. The dataset provides layer-cloud amount, cloud type, high, middle, or low height classes, cloud-top heights, base heights and layer thicknesses, covering a range of latitudes from 0° to 80°N. All data come from land sites: 34 are located in continental interiors, 14 are near coasts, and 15 are on islands. The uncertainties in the derived cloud properties are discussed. For clouds classified by low-, middle-, and high-top altitudes, there are strong latitudinal and seasonal variations in the layer thickness only for high clouds. High-cloud layer thickness increases with latitude and exhibits different seasonal variations in different latitude zones: in summer, high-cloud layer thickness is a maximum in the Tropics but a minimum at high latitudes. For clouds classified into three types by base altitude or into six standard morphological types, latitudinal and seasonal variations in layer thickness are very small. The thickness of the clear surface layer decreases with latitude and reaches a summer minimum in the Tropics and summer maximum at high latitudes over land, but does not vary much over ocean. Tropical clouds occur in three base-altitude groups and the layer thickness of each group increases linearly with top altitude. Extratropical clouds exhibit two groups, one with layer thickness proportional to their cloud-top altitude and one with small (=< 1000 m) layer thickness independent of cloud-top altitude.

Export citation: [ BibTeX ] [ RIS ]

BibTeX Citation

  author={Poore, K. D. and Wang, J. and Rossow, W. B.},
  title={Cloud layer thicknesses from a combination of surface and upper-air observations},
  journal={J. Climate},

[ Close ]

RIS Citation

ID  - po07000g
AU  - Poore, K. D.
AU  - Wang, J.
AU  - Rossow, W. B.
PY  - 1995
TI  - Cloud layer thicknesses from a combination of surface and upper-air observations
JA  - J. Climate
VL  - 8
SP  - 550
EP  - 568
DO  - 10.1175/1520-0442(1995)008%3C0550%3ACLTFAC%3E2.0.CO;2
ER  -

[ Close ]

• Return to 1995 Publications

• Return to Publications Homepage