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Georgia Sotiropoulou
,
Michael Tjernström
,
Joseph Sedlar
,
Peggy Achtert
,
Barbara J. Brooks
,
Ian M. Brooks
,
P. Ola G. Persson
,
John Prytherch
,
Dominic J. Salisbury
,
Matthew D. Shupe
,
Paul E. Johnston
, and
Dan Wolfe

Abstract

The Arctic Clouds in Summer Experiment (ACSE) was conducted during summer and early autumn 2014, providing a detailed view of the seasonal transition from ice melt into freeze-up. Measurements were taken over both ice-free and ice-covered surfaces near the ice edge, offering insight into the role of the surface state in shaping the atmospheric conditions. The initiation of the autumn freeze-up was related to a change in air mass, rather than to changes in solar radiation alone; the lower atmosphere cooled abruptly, leading to a surface heat loss. During melt season, strong surface inversions persisted over the ice, while elevated inversions were more frequent over open water. These differences disappeared during autumn freeze-up, when elevated inversions persisted over both ice-free and ice-covered conditions. These results are in contrast to previous studies that found a well-mixed boundary layer persisting in summer and an increased frequency of surface-based inversions in autumn, suggesting that knowledge derived from measurements taken within the pan-Arctic area and on the central ice pack does not necessarily apply closer to the ice edge. This study offers an insight into the atmospheric processes that occur during a crucial period of the year; understanding and accurately modeling these processes is essential for the improvement of ice-extent predictions and future Arctic climate projections.

Full access
Neil A. Stuart
,
Patrick S. Market
,
Bruce Telfeyan
,
Gary M. Lackmann
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Kenneth Carey
,
Harold E. Brooks
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Daniel Nietfeld
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Brian C. Motta
, and
Ken Reeves
Full access
Harold E. Brooks
,
Charles A. Doswell III
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Xiaoling Zhang
,
A. M. Alexander Chernokulsky
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Eigo Tochimoto
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Barry Hanstrum
,
Ernani de Lima Nascimento
,
David M. L. Sills
,
Bogdan Antonescu
, and
Brad Barrett

Abstracts

The history of severe thunderstorm research and forecasting over the past century has been a remarkable story involving interactions between technological development of observational and modeling capabilities, research into physical processes, and the forecasting of phenomena with the goal of reducing loss of life and property. Perhaps more so than any other field of meteorology, the relationship between researchers and forecasters has been particularly close in the severe thunderstorm domain, with both groups depending on improved observational capabilities.

The advances that have been made have depended on observing systems that did not exist 100 years ago, particularly radar and upper-air systems. They have allowed scientists to observe storm behavior and structure and the environmental setting in which storms occur. This has led to improved understanding of processes, which in turn has allowed forecasters to use those same observational systems to improve forecasts. Because of the relatively rare and small-scale nature of many severe thunderstorm events, severe thunderstorm researchers have developed mobile instrumentation capabilities that have allowed them to collect high-quality observations in the vicinity of storms.

Since much of the world is subject to severe thunderstorm hazards, research has taken place around the world, with the local emphasis dependent on what threats are perceived in that area, subject to the availability of resources to study the threat. Frequently, the topics of interest depend upon a single event, or a small number of events, of a particular kind that aroused public or economic interests in that area. International cooperation has been an important contributor to collecting and disseminating knowledge.

As the AMS turns 100, the range of research relating to severe thunderstorms is expanding. The time scale of forecasting or projecting is increasing, with work going on to study forecasts on the seasonal to subseasonal time scales, as well as addressing how climate change may influence severe thunderstorms. With its roots in studying weather that impacts the public, severe thunderstorm research now includes significant work from the social science community, some as standalone research and some in active collaborative efforts with physical scientists.

In addition, the traditional emphases of the field continue to grow. Improved radar and numerical modeling capabilities allow meteorologists to see and model details that were unobservable and not understood a half century ago. The long tradition of collecting observations in the field has led to improved quality and quantity of observations, as well as the capability to collect them in locations that were previously inaccessible. Much of that work has been driven by the gaps in understanding identified by theoretical and operational practice.

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Pieter Groenemeijer
,
Tomáš Púčik
,
Alois M. Holzer
,
Bogdan Antonescu
,
Kathrin Riemann-Campe
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David M. Schultz
,
Thilo Kühne
,
Bernold Feuerstein
,
Harold E. Brooks
,
Charles A. Doswell III
,
Hans-Joachim Koppert
, and
Robert Sausen

Abstract

The European Severe Storms Laboratory (ESSL) was founded in 2006 to advance the science and forecasting of severe convective storms in Europe. ESSL was a grassroots effort of individual scientists from various European countries. The purpose of this article is to describe the 10-yr history of ESSL and present a sampling of its successful activities. Specifically, ESSL developed and manages the only multinational database of severe weather reports in Europe: the European Severe Weather Database (ESWD). Despite efforts to eliminate biases, the ESWD still suffers from spatial inhomogeneities in data collection, which motivates ESSL’s research into modeling climatologies by combining ESWD data with reanalysis data. ESSL also established its ESSL Testbed to evaluate developmental forecast products and to provide training to forecasters. The testbed is organized in close collaboration with several of Europe’s national weather services. In addition, ESSL serves a central role among the European scientific and forecast communities for convective storms, specifically through its training activities and the series of European Conferences on Severe Storms. Finally, ESSL conducts wind and tornado damage assessments, highlighted by its recent survey of a violent tornado in northern Italy.

Open access
I. A. Renfrew
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R. S. Pickart
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K. Våge
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G. W. K. Moore
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T. J. Bracegirdle
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A. D. Elvidge
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E. Jeansson
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T. Lachlan-Cope
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L. T. McRaven
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L. Papritz
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J. Reuder
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H. Sodemann
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A. Terpstra
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S. Waterman
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H. Valdimarsson
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A. Weiss
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M. Almansi
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F. Bahr
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A. Brakstad
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C. Barrell
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J. K. Brooke
,
B. J. Brooks
,
I. M. Brooks
,
M. E. Brooks
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E. M. Bruvik
,
C. Duscha
,
I. Fer
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H. M. Golid
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M. Hallerstig
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I. Hessevik
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J. Huang
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L. Houghton
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S. Jónsson
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M. Jonassen
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K. Jackson
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K. Kvalsund
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E. W. Kolstad
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K. Konstali
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J. Kristiansen
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R. Ladkin
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P. Lin
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A. Macrander
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A. Mitchell
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H. Olafsson
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A. Pacini
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C. Payne
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B. Palmason
,
M. D. Pérez-Hernández
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A. K. Peterson
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G. N. Petersen
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M. N. Pisareva
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J. O. Pope
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A. Seidl
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S. Semper
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D. Sergeev
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S. Skjelsvik
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H. Søiland
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D. Smith
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M. A. Spall
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T. Spengler
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A. Touzeau
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G. Tupper
,
Y. Weng
,
K. D. Williams
,
X. Yang
, and
S. Zhou

Abstract

The Iceland Greenland Seas Project (IGP) is a coordinated atmosphere–ocean research program investigating climate processes in the source region of the densest waters of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. During February and March 2018, a field campaign was executed over the Iceland and southern Greenland Seas that utilized a range of observing platforms to investigate critical processes in the region, including a research vessel, a research aircraft, moorings, sea gliders, floats, and a meteorological buoy. A remarkable feature of the field campaign was the highly coordinated deployment of the observing platforms, whereby the research vessel and aircraft tracks were planned in concert to allow simultaneous sampling of the atmosphere, the ocean, and their interactions. This joint planning was supported by tailor-made convection-permitting weather forecasts and novel diagnostics from an ensemble prediction system. The scientific aims of the IGP are to characterize the atmospheric forcing and the ocean response of coupled processes; in particular, cold-air outbreaks in the vicinity of the marginal ice zone and their triggering of oceanic heat loss, and the role of freshwater in the generation of dense water masses. The campaign observed the life cycle of a long-lasting cold-air outbreak over the Iceland Sea and the development of a cold-air outbreak over the Greenland Sea. Repeated profiling revealed the immediate impact on the ocean, while a comprehensive hydrographic survey provided a rare picture of these subpolar seas in winter. A joint atmosphere–ocean approach is also being used in the analysis phase, with coupled observational analysis and coordinated numerical modeling activities underway.

Open access
H. J. Christian
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R. L. Frost
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P. H. Gillaspy
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S. J. Goodman
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O. H. Vaughan Jr.
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M. Brook
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B. Vonnegut
, and
R. E. Orville

In order to determine how to achieve orders of magnitude improvement in spatial and temporal resolution and in sensitivity of satellite lightning sensors, better quantitative measurements of the characteristics of the optical emissions from lightning as observed from above tops of thunderclouds are required. A number of sensors have been developed and integrated into an instrument package and flown aboard a NASA U-2 aircraft. The objectives have been to acquire optical lightning data needed for designing the lightning mapper sensor, and to study lightning physics and the correlation of lightning activity with storm characteristics. The instrumentation and observations of the program are reviewed and their significance for future research is discussed.

Full access
M. H. Davis
,
Marx Brook
,
Hugh Christian
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Brian G. Heikes
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Richard E. Orville
,
Chung G. Park
,
Raymond G. Roble
, and
Bernard Vonnegut

The Lightning Mapper Sensor is proposed as an instrument for use on a geosynchronous satellite in the late 1980s to monitor lightning activity continuously over broad areas of the earth. The system was suggested in response to a variety of needs and the resulting data will provide important research information for such fields of geoscience as magnetospheric and ionospheric physics, atmospheric electricity, atmospheric chemistry, and storm physics. The research applications of Lightning Mapper Sensor data and related research programs are explored and sensor requirements are discussed.

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Jonathan J. Day
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Gunilla Svensson
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Ian M. Brooks
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Cecilia Bitz
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Lina Broman
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Glenn Carver
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Matthieu Chevallier
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Helge Goessling
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Kerstin Hartung
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Thomas Jung
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Jennifer E. Kay
,
Erik W. Kolstad
,
Don Perovich
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James Screen
,
Stephan Siemen
, and
Filip Váňa
Full access
David P. Rogers
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Clive E. Dorman
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Kathleen A. Edwards
,
Ian M. Brooks
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W. Kendall Melville
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Stephen D. Burk
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William T. Thompson
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Teddy Holt
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Linda M. Ström
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Michael Tjernström
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Branko Grisogono
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John M. Bane
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Wendell A. Nuss
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Bruce M. Morley
, and
Allen J. Schanot

Some of the highlights of an experiment designed to study coastal atmospheric phenomena along the California coast (Coastal Waves 1996 experiment) are described. This study was designed to address several problems, including the cross-shore variability and turbulent structure of the marine boundary layer, the influence of the coast on the development of the marine layer and clouds, the ageostrophy of the flow, the dynamics of trapped events, the parameterization of surface fluxes, and the supercriticality of the marine layer.

Based in Monterey, California, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) C-130 Hercules and the University of North Carolina Piper Seneca obtained a comprehensive set of measurements on the structure of the marine layer. The study focused on the effects of prominent topographic features on the wind. Downstream of capes and points, narrow bands of high winds are frequently encountered. The NCAR-designed Scanning Aerosol Backscatter Lidar (SABL) provided a unique opportunity to connect changes in the depth of the boundary layer with specific features in the dynamics of the flow field.

An integral part of the experiment was the use of numerical models as forecast and diagnostic tools. The Naval Research Laboratory's Coupled Ocean Atmosphere Model System (COAMPS) provided high-resolution forecasts of the wind field in the vicinity of capes and points, which aided the deployment of the aircraft. Subsequently, this model and the MIUU (University of Uppsala) numerical model were used to support the analysis of the field data.

These are some of the most comprehensive measurements of the topographically forced marine layer that have been collected. SABL proved to be an exceptionally useful tool to resolve the small-scale structure of the boundary layer and, combined with in situ turbulence measurements, provides new insight into the structure of the marine atmosphere. Measurements were made sufficiently far offshore to distinguish between the coastal and open ocean effects. COAMPS proved to be an excellent forecast tool and both it and the MIUU model are integral parts of the ongoing analysis. The results highlight the large spatial variability that occurs directly in response to topographic effects. Routine measurements are insufficient to resolve this variability. Numerical weather prediction model boundary conditions cannot properly define the forecast system and often underestimate the wind speed and surface wave conditions in the nearshore region.

This study was a collaborative effort between the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Naval Research Laboratory, and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

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Cloudnet

Continuous Evaluation of Cloud Profiles in Seven Operational Models Using Ground-Based Observations

A. J. Illingworth
,
R. J. Hogan
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E.J. O'Connor
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D. Bouniol
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M. E. Brooks
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J. Delanoé
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D. P. Donovan
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J. D. Eastment
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N. Gaussiat
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J. W. F. Goddard
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M. Haeffelin
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H. Klein Baltink
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O. A. Krasnov
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J. Pelon
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J.-M. Piriou
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A. Protat
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H. W. J. Russchenberg
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A. Seifert
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A. M. Tompkins
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G.-J. van Zadelhoff
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F. Vinit
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U. Willén
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D. R. Wilson
, and
C. L. Wrench

The Cloudnet project aims to provide a systematic evaluation of clouds in forecast and climate models by comparing the model output with continuous ground-based observations of the vertical profiles of cloud properties. In the models, the properties of clouds are simplified and expressed in terms of the fraction of the model grid box, which is filled with cloud, together with the liquid and ice water content of the clouds. These models must get the clouds right if they are to correctly represent both their radiative properties and their key role in the production of precipitation, but there are few observations of the vertical profiles of the cloud properties that show whether or not they are successful. Cloud profiles derived from cloud radars, ceilometers, and dual-frequency microwave radiometers operated at three sites in France, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom for several years have been compared with the clouds in seven European models. The advantage of this continuous appraisal is that the feedback on how new versions of models are performing is provided in quasi-real time, as opposed to the much longer time scale needed for in-depth analysis of complex field studies. Here, two occasions are identified when the introduction of new versions of the ECMWF and Météo-France models leads to an immediate improvement in the representation of the clouds and also provides statistics on the performance of the seven models. The Cloudnet analysis scheme is currently being expanded to include sites outside Europe and further operational forecasting and climate models.

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