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Climatology of cloud water content associated with different cloud types...

Huang, L., J. Jiang, Z. Wang, H. Su, M. Deng, and S. Massie (2015), Climatology of cloud water content associated with different cloud types observed by A-Train satellites, J. Geophys. Res., 120, 4196-4212, doi:10.1002/2014JD022779.

This study investigates the climatology of vertical distributions of cloud liquid water content (LWC), ice water content (IWC) and cloud fraction (CFR) associated with 8 different cloud types, by utilizing the combined CloudSat radar and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) lidar measurements. The geographical and seasonal variations of these cloud properties for each cloud type are also analyzed. The cloud water content (CWC) of each cloud type is sorted by three parameters obtained from co-located satellite observations to investigate the relationships between large-scale conditions and the vertical structure of clouds. Results show that different cloud types have different altitudes of CWC and CFR peaks and the altitude of CFR peak does not always overlap with that of CWC peak. Each type of cloud shows a clear asymmetric pattern of spatial distribution between northern hemisphere (NH) and southern hemisphere (SH). Stratocumulus and stratus clouds make the greatest contribution to the liquid water path, while the ice water path is mostly contributed by deep convective cloud over the tropics and nimbostratus over the middle and high latitudes. Over both middle and high latitudes, clouds have larger seasonal variation in the NH than in the SH. Over ocean, large CWCs of deep convective cloud, cirrus and altostratus are above 7 km, and are associated with high CAPE (>2000 J/kg), warm SST (>303 K) and relatively high precipitation (>1 mm/h). Over land, most of the middle and high clouds have similar CWC distributions compared to those over ocean, but altocumulus and low clouds are quite different from those over ocean.

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Research Program: 
Atmospheric Composition Modeling and Analysis Program (ACMAP)
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)