Interpretation of Some Phenomena Observed in Southern California Stratus

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, University of California, Los Angeles, Calif.
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Abstract

Extensive observations were made on aircraft flights in the marine layer over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California. We interpret some of the cloud patterns as convective and some as gravity wave phenomena. The ship wave and the three-dimensional lee wave are observed and analyzed in terms of the accompanying soundings, as are other characteristic cloud structures. From photographs of glories in the stratus tops, angles of back-scattering can be determined with sufficient accuracy to identify cloud-drop size distributions in accordance with Mie scattering theory.

Abstract

Extensive observations were made on aircraft flights in the marine layer over the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California. We interpret some of the cloud patterns as convective and some as gravity wave phenomena. The ship wave and the three-dimensional lee wave are observed and analyzed in terms of the accompanying soundings, as are other characteristic cloud structures. From photographs of glories in the stratus tops, angles of back-scattering can be determined with sufficient accuracy to identify cloud-drop size distributions in accordance with Mie scattering theory.

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