Publication Abstracts

Wang et al. 1999

Wang, J., W.B. Rossow, T. Uttal, and M. Rozendaal, 1999: Variability of cloud vertical structure during ASTEX observed from a combination of rawinsonde, radar, ceilometer, and satellite. Mon. Weather Rev., 127, 2484-2502, doi:10.1175/1520-0493(1999)127<2484:VOCVSD>2.0.CO;2.

The macroscale cloud vertical structure (CVS), including cloud-base and -top heights and layer thickness, and characteristics of multilayered clouds, is studied at Porto Santo Island during the Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX) by using rawinsonde, radar, ceilometer, and satellite data. The comparisons of CVS parameters obtained from four different approaches show that 1) by using the method developed by Wang and Rossow rawinsonde observations (raob's) can sample all low clouds and determine their boundaries accurately, but oversample low clouds by about 10%, mistaking clear moist layers for clouds; 2) cloud-base heights less than 200 m in the radar data are ambiguous, but can be replaced by the values measured by ceilometer; and 3) the practical limit on the accuracy of marine boundary layer cloud-top heights retrieved from satellites appears to be about 150-300 m mainly due to errors in specifying the atmospheric temperature and humidity in the inversion layer above the cloud. The vertical distribution of clouds at Porto Santo during ASTEX is dominated by low clouds below 3 km, a cloud-free layer between 3 and 4 km, and ∼20% high clouds with a peak occurrence around 7-8 km. Low clouds have mean base and top heights of 1.0 km and 1.4 km, respectively, and occur as single layers 90% of the time. For double-layered low clouds, the tops of the uppermost layers and the bases of the lowermost layers have similar distributions as those of single-layered clouds. The temporal variations of low clouds during ASTEX are apparently dominated by advecting mesoscale (20-200 km) horizontal variations. Coherent time variations are predominately synoptic (timescale 4.5-6.8 days) and diurnal variability. On the diurnal timescale, all cloud properties show maxima in the early morning (around 0530 LST) decreasing to minima in the late afternoon. Diurnal variations appear to be altered when high clouds are present above low clouds. The general characteristics of CVS in three ASTEX and the First ISCCP Regional Experiment (FIRE87) regions derived from a 20-yr rawinsonde dataset are also presented. The results suggest that CVS characteristics obtained from data collected at Porto Santo during ASTEX (June 1992) are not representative of other marine stratiform cloud regions.

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BibTeX Citation

@article{wa05000n,
  author={Wang, J. and Rossow, W. B. and Uttal, T. and Rozendaal, M.},
  title={Variability of cloud vertical structure during ASTEX observed from a combination of rawinsonde, radar, ceilometer, and satellite},
  year={1999},
  journal={Mon. Weather Rev.},
  volume={127},
  pages={2484--2502},
  doi={10.1175/1520-0493(1999)127%3C2484%3AVOCVSD%3E2.0.CO;2},
}

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RIS Citation

TY  - JOUR
ID  - wa05000n
AU  - Wang, J.
AU  - Rossow, W. B.
AU  - Uttal, T.
AU  - Rozendaal, M.
PY  - 1999
TI  - Variability of cloud vertical structure during ASTEX observed from a combination of rawinsonde, radar, ceilometer, and satellite
JA  - Mon. Weather Rev.
VL  - 127
SP  - 2484
EP  - 2502
DO  - 10.1175/1520-0493(1999)127%3C2484%3AVOCVSD%3E2.0.CO;2
ER  -

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