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  • Author or Editor: Casey D. Burleyson x
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Casey D. Burleyson
and
Sandra E. Yuter

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of subtropical marine stratocumulus cloud fraction variability using a 30-min and 3° × 3° cloud fraction dataset from 2003 to 2010. Each of the three subtropical marine stratocumulus regions has distinct diurnal characteristics, but the southeast (SE) Pacific and SE Atlantic are more similar to each other than to the northeast (NE) Pacific. The amplitude and season-to-season diurnal cycle variations are larger in the Southern Hemisphere regions than in the NE Pacific. Net overnight changes in cloud fraction on 3° × 3° scales are either positive or neutral >77% of the time in the NE Pacific and >88% of the time in the SE Pacific and SE Atlantic. Cloud fraction often increases to 100% by dawn when cloud fraction at dusk is >30%. In the SE Pacific and SE Atlantic, a typical decrease in cloud area (median ≤ −5.7 × 105 km2) during the day is equivalent to 25% or more of the annual-mean cloud deck area. Time series for 3° × 3° areas where cloud fraction was ≥90% sometime overnight and <60% at dawn, such as would result from nocturnal formation of pockets of open cells (POCs), only occur 1.5%, 1.6%, and 3.3% of the time in the SE Pacific, SE Atlantic, and NE Pacific, respectively. Comparison of cloud fraction changes to ship-based radar and satellite-derived precipitation intensity and area measurements shows a lack of sensitivity of cloud fraction to drizzle on time scales of 1–3 h and spatial scales of 100–300 km.

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Hailong Wang
,
Casey D. Burleyson
,
Po-Lun Ma
,
Jerome D. Fast
, and
Philip J. Rasch

Abstract

Long-term Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) datasets collected at the three tropical western Pacific (TWP) sites are used to evaluate the ability of the Community Atmosphere Model (CAM5) to simulate the various types of clouds, their seasonal and diurnal variations, and their impact on surface radiation. A number of CAM5 simulations are conducted at various horizontal grid spacing (around 2°, 1°, 0.5°, and 0.25°) with meteorological constraints from analysis or reanalysis. Model biases in the seasonal cycle of cloudiness are found to be weakly dependent on model resolution. Positive biases (up to 20%) in the annual mean total cloud fraction appear mostly in stratiform ice clouds. Higher-resolution simulations do reduce the positive bias in ice clouds, but they inadvertently increase the negative biases in convective clouds and low-level liquid clouds, leading to a positive bias in annual mean shortwave fluxes at the sites, as high as 65 W m−2 in the 0.25° simulation. Such resolution-dependent biases in clouds can adversely lead to biases in ambient thermodynamic properties and, in turn, produce feedback onto clouds. Both the model and observations show distinct diurnal cycles in total, stratiform, and convective cloud fractions; however, they are out of phase by 12 h and the biases vary by site. The results suggest that biases in deep convection affect the vertical distribution and diurnal cycle of stratiform clouds through the transport of vapor and/or the detrainment of liquid and ice. The approach used here can be easily adapted for the evaluation of new parameterizations being developed for CAM5 or other global or regional models.

Open access
Casey D. Burleyson
,
Samson M. Hagos
,
Zhe Feng
,
Brandon W. J. Kerns
, and
Daehyun Kim

Abstract

The characteristics of Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) events that strengthen and weaken over the Maritime Continent (MC) are examined. The real-time multivariate MJO (RMM) index is used to assess changes in global MJO amplitude over the MC. The MJO weakens at least twice as often as it strengthens over the MC, with weakening MJOs being twice as likely during El Niño compared to La Niña years and the reverse for strengthening events. MJO weakening shows a pronounced seasonal cycle that has not been previously documented. During the Northern Hemisphere (NH) summer and fall the RMM index can strengthen over the MC. MJOs that approach the MC during the NH winter typically weaken according to the RMM index. This seasonal cycle corresponds to whether the MJO crosses the MC primarily north or south of the equator. Because of the seasonal cycle, weakening MJOs are characterized by positive sea surface temperature and moist-static energy anomalies in the Southern Hemisphere (SH) of the MC compared to strengthening events. Analysis of the outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) MJO index (OMI) shows that MJO precipitation weakens when it crosses the MC along the equator. A possible explanation of this based on previous results is that the MJO encounters more landmasses and taller mountains when crossing along the equator or in the SH. The new finding of a seasonal cycle in MJO weakening over the MC highlights the importance of sampling MJOs throughout the year in future field campaigns designed to study MJO–MC interactions.

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Simon P. de Szoeke
,
Sandra Yuter
,
David Mechem
,
Chris W. Fairall
,
Casey D. Burleyson
, and
Paquita Zuidema

Abstract

Widespread stratocumulus clouds were observed on nine transects from seven research cruises to the southeastern tropical Pacific Ocean along 20°S, 75°–85°W in October–November of 2001–08. The nine transects sample a unique combination of synoptic and interannual variability affecting the clouds; their ensemble diagnoses longitude–vertical sections of the atmosphere, diurnal cycles of cloud properties and drizzle statistics, and the effect of stratocumulus clouds on surface radiation. Mean cloud fraction was 0.88, and 67% of 10-min overhead cloud fraction observations were overcast. Clouds cleared in the afternoon [1500 local time (LT)] to a minimum of fraction of 0.7. Precipitation radar found strong drizzle with reflectivity above 40 dBZ.

Cloud-base (CB) heights rise with longitude from 1.0 km at 75°W to 1.2 km at 85°W in the mean, but the slope varies from cruise to cruise. CB–lifting condensation level (LCL) displacement, a measure of decoupling, increases westward. At night CB–LCL is 0–200 m and increases 400 m from dawn to 1600 LT, before collapsing in the evening.

Despite zonal gradients in boundary layer and cloud vertical structure, surface radiation and cloud radiative forcing are relatively uniform in longitude. When present, clouds reduce solar radiation by 160 W m−2 and radiate 70 W m−2 more downward longwave radiation than clear skies. Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 3 (CMIP3) simulations of the climate of the twentieth century show 40 ± 20 W m−2 too little net cloud radiative cooling at the surface. Simulated clouds have correct radiative forcing when present, but models have ~50% too few clouds.

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Samson M. Hagos
,
Zhe Feng
,
Casey D. Burleyson
,
Chun Zhao
,
Matus N. Martini
, and
Larry K. Berg

Abstract

Two Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) episodes observed during the 2011 Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program MJO Investigation Experiment (AMIE)/DYNAMO field campaign are simulated using a regional model with various cumulus parameterizations, a regional cloud-permitting model, and a global variable-resolution model with a high-resolution region centered over the tropical Indian Ocean. Model biases in relationships relevant to existing instability theories of MJO are examined and their relative contributions to the overall model errors are quantified using a linear statistical model. The model simulations capture the observed approximately log-linear relationship between moisture saturation fraction and precipitation, but precipitation associated with the given saturation fraction is overestimated especially at low saturation fraction values. This bias is a major contributor to the excessive precipitation during the suppressed phase of MJO. After accounting for this bias using a linear statistical model, the spatial and temporal structures of the model-simulated MJO episodes are much improved, and what remains of the biases is strongly correlated with biases in saturation fraction. The excess precipitation bias during the suppressed phase of the MJO episodes is accompanied by excessive column-integrated radiative forcing and surface evaporation. A large portion of the bias in evaporation is related to biases in wind speed, which are correlated with those of precipitation. These findings suggest that the precipitation bias sustains itself at least partly by cloud radiative feedbacks and convection–surface wind interactions.

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