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  • Author or Editor: Ernest E. Recker x
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Dennis L. Hartmann and Ernest E. Recker

Abstract

The diurnal harmonic in longwave emission in the tropical belt (30°N–30°S) is estimated from nine years of NOAA polar-orbiting satellite data. The results are compared successfully with Nimbus-7 ERB scanner data and with GOES-West geosynchronous satellite data. An interesting and consistent diurnal variation in longwave emission is found over the regions of intense oceanic convection such as the ITCZ and SPCZ regions with a peak-to-peak variation of 6–8 W m−2 and a maximum in the morning (0600–1200 LST). Histogram analysis indicates that this variation is associated with a diurnal variation in convective cloud (∼400 mb). Over regions of very intense convection, a diurnal variation of very high clouds (∼100 mb), which is out of phase with the variations at lower levels in the atmosphere, reduces the magnitude of the diurnal harmonic in longwave emission.

It is interesting that histograms based on data averaged over 8-km and 250-km boxes give the same qualitative information about cloud and emission variability.

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