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Juan Huo and Daren Lu


Unlike other cloud types, high-level clouds play an important role, often imposing a warming effect, in the earth–atmosphere radiative energy budget. In this paper, macro- and microphysical characteristics of cirrus clouds, such as their occurrence frequency, geometric scale, water content, and particle size, over northern China (land area, herein called the L area) and the Pacific Ocean (ocean area, herein the O area) are analyzed and compared based on CloudSat and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) products from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2010. Over both areas, statistical analysis shows that cirrus occurrence approached 33% in summer whereas it was only ~10% in winter, >50% of cirrus cloud thicknesses were in the range of ~(0.25–1.5) km, there were >98% ice particles in high-level clouds, and temperature had a closer linear relationship with ice effective radius (IER) than height. Also, the seasonal difference of this linear relationship is minor over both land and ocean. Comparisons reveal that the mean occurrence frequency, mean cloud thickness, range of cloud-base and cloud-top height, IER, and ice water content of cirrus in summer were generally greater in winter, and greater over the O area than over the L area. However, the relationship between IER and temperature over land is close to that over ocean.

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Xiushu Qie, Xueke Wu, Tie Yuan, Jianchun Bian, and Daren Lu


Diurnal and seasonal variation, intensity, and structure of deep convective systems (DCSs; with 20-dBZ echo tops exceeding 14 km) over the Tibetan Plateau–South Asian monsoon region from the Tibetan Plateau (TP) to the ocean are investigated using 14 yr of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) data. Four unique regions characterized by different orography are selected for comparison, including the TP, the southern Himalayan front (SHF), the South Asian subcontinent (SAS), and the ocean. DCSs and intense DCSs (IDCSs; with 40-dBZ echo tops exceeding 10 km) occur more frequently over the continent than over the ocean. About 23% of total DCSs develop into IDCSs in the SHF, followed by the TP (21%) and the SAS (15%), with the least over the ocean (2%). The average 20-dBZ echo-top height of IDCSs exceeds 16 km and 9% of them even exceed 18 km. DCSs and IDCSs are the most frequent over the SHF, especially in the westernmost SHF, where the intensity—in terms of strong radar echo-top (viz., 40 dBZ) height, ice-particle content, and lightning flash rate—is the strongest. DCSs over the TP are relatively weak in convective intensity and small in size but occur frequently. Oceanic DCSs possess the tallest cloud top (which mainly reflects small ice particles) and the largest size, but their convective intensity is markedly weaker. DCSs and IDCSs show a similar diurnal variation, mainly occurring in the afternoon with a peak at 1600 local time over land. Although most of both DCSs and IDCSs occur between April and October, DCSs have a peak in August, whereas IDCSs have a peak in May.

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