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Vertical structure of tropical oceanic convective clouds and its relation to...

Kubar, T. L., and D. Hartmann (2008), Vertical structure of tropical oceanic convective clouds and its relation to precipitation, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L03804, doi:10.1029/2007GL032811.
Abstract: 

Cloudsat cloud radar data are used to investigate the vertical structure of cloud systems of the ITCZ across the West and East Pacific and its contribution to precipitation. Cloud radar data are collocated with precipitation rates from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR) to examine differences in cloud top PDFs for different rain rate regimes. Heavily precipitating clouds have high tops that are nearly two km deeper than moderately raining or nonraining high clouds. Rain rate increases with cloud height, especially for clouds higher than 12 km, with nearly a tenfold rain rate increase from 12 km to the tropical tropopause. Clouds with tops below 9.5 km contribute 38% to total rainfall in the West Pacific and 47% in the East Pacific, but they contribute 60% and 74% to total rain area, respectively.

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Mission: 
CloudSat