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Remote Sounding of Multilayer Cirrus Cloud Systems Using AVHRR Data Collected during FIRE-II-IFO

S. C. OuDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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K. N. LiouDepartment of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California

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T. R. CaudillDivision of Atmospheric Science, Geophysics Directorate, Phillips Laboratory, Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachussetts

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Abstract

Surface observations show that multilayer clouds frequently occur in frontal areas where cirrus clouds overlie boundary layer convective clouds or stratus clouds. In this paper, an algorithm is presented for the retrieval of cirrus cloud optical depths and ice crystal sizes in multilayer cloud systems based on the theory of radiative transfer and parameterizations. For the validation of the retrieval program, AVHRR data is analyzed for two dates during FIRE-II-IFO in which cirrus clouds overlie a layer of low stratus cloud. It is shown that the domain-averaged retrieved cloud temperatures are within the boundaries of cirrus clouds determined from the collocated replicator, radar, and lidar data. The retrieved ice crystal mean effective sizes and optical depths are also in general agreement with the values determined from the balloon-borne replicator and 2D probe data.

Corresponding author address: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095.

ssou@atmos.ucla.edu

Abstract

Surface observations show that multilayer clouds frequently occur in frontal areas where cirrus clouds overlie boundary layer convective clouds or stratus clouds. In this paper, an algorithm is presented for the retrieval of cirrus cloud optical depths and ice crystal sizes in multilayer cloud systems based on the theory of radiative transfer and parameterizations. For the validation of the retrieval program, AVHRR data is analyzed for two dates during FIRE-II-IFO in which cirrus clouds overlie a layer of low stratus cloud. It is shown that the domain-averaged retrieved cloud temperatures are within the boundaries of cirrus clouds determined from the collocated replicator, radar, and lidar data. The retrieved ice crystal mean effective sizes and optical depths are also in general agreement with the values determined from the balloon-borne replicator and 2D probe data.

Corresponding author address: Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90095.

ssou@atmos.ucla.edu

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