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Cloud, Aerosol, and Radiative Properties Over the Western North Atlantic Ocean

Braun, R., A. McComiskey, G. Tselioudis, D. Tropf, and A. Sorooshian (2021), Cloud, Aerosol, and Radiative Properties Over the Western North Atlantic Ocean, J. Geophys. Res..

This study examines the atmospheric properties of weather states (WSs) derived from the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project over the Western North Atlantic Ocean. In particular, radiation and aerosol data corresponding to two sites in the study domain, Pennsylvania State University and Bermuda, were examined to characterize the atmospheric properties of the various satellite-derived WSs. At both sites, the fair weather WS was most prevalent, followed by the cirrus WS. Differences in the seasonality of the various WSs were observed at the two sites. Fractional sky cover and effective shortwave cloud transmissivity derived from ground-based radiation measurements were able to capture differences among the satellite-derived WSs. Speciated aerosol optical thicknesses (AOT) from the Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 were used to investigate potential differences in aerosol properties among the WSs. The clear sky WS exhibited below-average seasonal values of AOT at both sites year-round, as well as relatively high rates of occurrence with low AOT events. In addition, the clear sky WS showed above-average contributions from dust and black carbon to the total AOT year-round. Finally, transitions between various WSs were examined under low, high, and midrange AOT conditions. The most common pathway was for the WSs to remain in the same state after a 3 h interval. Some WSs, such as mid latitude storms, deep convection, middle top, and shallow cumulus, were more prevalent as ending states under high AOT conditions. This work motivates examining differences in aerosol properties between WSs in other regions.

Research Program: 
Radiation Science Program (RSP)
Funding Sources: