Cloud Top Liquid Water from Lidar Observations of Marine Stratocumulus

J. D. Spinhirne NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for Atmospheres, Greenbelt, Maryland

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R. Boers NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for Atmospheres, Greenbelt, Maryland

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W. D. Hart NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Laboratory for Atmospheres, Greenbelt, Maryland

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Abstract

Maine stratus clouds were simultaneously observed by nadir Nd:YAG lidar measurements and in situ cloud physics measurements. A procedure was applied to derive the two-dimensional vertical cross section of the liquid water from within the cloud top lidar observations. A comparison to direct in-cloud liquid water observations gave good results. The liquid water retrieval was limited to an effective optical of 1.5. The true cloud optical thickness was also obtained from the retrieval procedure to a corresponding limit of 3.8. The optical thickness of the observed marine stratus clouds was predominantly below 3.0.

Abstract

Maine stratus clouds were simultaneously observed by nadir Nd:YAG lidar measurements and in situ cloud physics measurements. A procedure was applied to derive the two-dimensional vertical cross section of the liquid water from within the cloud top lidar observations. A comparison to direct in-cloud liquid water observations gave good results. The liquid water retrieval was limited to an effective optical of 1.5. The true cloud optical thickness was also obtained from the retrieval procedure to a corresponding limit of 3.8. The optical thickness of the observed marine stratus clouds was predominantly below 3.0.

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