Remote Sounding of the Tropical Cirrus Cloud Temperature and Optical Depth Using 6.5 and 10.5 μm Radiometers during STEP

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology/CARSS, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 2 Space Science Division, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California
  • 3 Department of Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University, University Patk, Pennsylvania
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Abstract

A dual-channel retrieval technique involving the water vapor band at 6.5 μm and the window region at 10.5 gm has been developed to infer the temperature and emissivity of tropical anvils. This technique has been applied to data obtained from the ER-2 narrow field-of-view radiometers during two flights in the field observation of the Stratosphere-Troposphere Exchange Project (STEP) near Damn, Australia, January-February 1987. The retrieved cloud temperatures are between 190 and 240 K, while the cloud emissivities derived from the retrieval algorithm range from about 0.2 to 1. Moreover, the visible optical depths have been obtained from the cloud emissivity through a theoretical parameterization with values of 0.5-10. A significant portion of tropical cirrus clouds are found to have optical depths greater than about 6. Because of the parameterization, the present technique is unable to precisely determine the optical depth values for optically thick cirrus clouds.

Abstract

A dual-channel retrieval technique involving the water vapor band at 6.5 μm and the window region at 10.5 gm has been developed to infer the temperature and emissivity of tropical anvils. This technique has been applied to data obtained from the ER-2 narrow field-of-view radiometers during two flights in the field observation of the Stratosphere-Troposphere Exchange Project (STEP) near Damn, Australia, January-February 1987. The retrieved cloud temperatures are between 190 and 240 K, while the cloud emissivities derived from the retrieval algorithm range from about 0.2 to 1. Moreover, the visible optical depths have been obtained from the cloud emissivity through a theoretical parameterization with values of 0.5-10. A significant portion of tropical cirrus clouds are found to have optical depths greater than about 6. Because of the parameterization, the present technique is unable to precisely determine the optical depth values for optically thick cirrus clouds.

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