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  • Author or Editor: Kathryn M. Ginger x
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Harsh Vardhan, Bruce A. Wielicki, and Kathryn M. Ginger

Abstract

A study has been made of the relationship between mean cloud radiative properties and cloud fraction in stratocumulus cloud systems. The analysis is of several Land Resources Satellite System (LANDSAT) images and three hourly International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) C-1 data during daylight hours for two grid boxes covering an area typical of a general circulation model (GCM) grid increment. Cloud properties were inferred from the LANDSAT images using two thresholds and several pixel resolutions ranging from roughly 1/16 km to 8 km. At the finest resolution, the analysis shows that mean cloud optical depth (or liquid water path) increases somewhat with increasing cloud fraction up to 20% cloud coverage. More striking, however, is the lack of correlation between the two quantities for cloud fractions between roughly 0.2 and 0.8. When the scene is essentially overcast, the mean cloud optical depth tends to be higher. Coarse resolution LANDSAT analysis and the ISCCP 8-km data show lack of correlation between mean cloud optical depth and cloud fraction for coverage less than about 90%.

This study shows that there is perhaps a local mean liquid water path (LWP) associated with partly cloudy areas of stratocumulus clouds. A method has been suggested to use this property to construct the cloud fraction parameterization in a GCM when the model computes a grid-box-mean LWP.

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David R. Smith, William A. Krayer, Kathryn M. Ginger, Michael A. Rosenthal, Jo Ann P. Mulvany, Walter Sanford, Juanita J. Matkins, Loisteen E. Harrell, Bonnie Smith, G. Jayne Koester, Richard L. Lees, John D. Moore, and Frankie C. Vann

Project ATMOSPHERE Atmospheric Education Resource Agents (AERAs) from the mid-Atlantic states conducted their second annual regional workshop for teachers. The focus of this conference was hazardous weather. Over 150 educators from 10 states and the District of Columbia attended this one-day event held in Silver Spring, Maryland. The workshop included presentations by meteorologists and scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, private corporations, and universities as well as by the AERAs themselves. The presentations were designed to develop basic understandings about hazardous weather and to provide guidance about how to deal with its effects. The orientation of the program was hands on, including a number of activities for teachers to implement in the classroom. This conference demonstrates how educators and scientists can form partnerships to improve science education.

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