3.6 Application of Cloud Vertical Structure to Investigate the Microphysical and Optical Properties of Cirriform, Anvil, and Deep Convective Clouds

Monday, 7 January 2013: 5:15 PM
Room 9C (Austin Convention Center)
Alisa Young, NOAA/NESDIS/NCDC, Asheville, NC; and J. J. Bates

This study uses cloud vertical structure (CVS) to evaluate the optical and microphysical properties of high clouds including cirriform, anvil, and deep convection (DC) over the region between 35°S–35°N for a 1-yr period from January-December 2007. The analyses are based on integrated multisensory pixel-level observations of CVS from CloudSat/CALIPSO and Level 2 cloud data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) onboard the Aqua satellite. Cloud products evaluated include mean cloud optical thickness, cloud effective radius, cloud-top temperature, cloud-top pressure, cloud brightness temperature, and cloud effective emissivity. Unlike other studies, high clouds investigated in this study are not determined by the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) cloud classification scheme. Instead it relies on the CloudSat 2B-CLDCLASS product which uses radar reflectivity data and also considers the spatial and horizontal cloud structure to classify cirriform, anvil, and DC clouds. Results of the study are used to evaluate the capabilities of MODIS to estimate cloud properties and identify the impacts of using CVS to classify various types of high level clouds rather than the ISCCP cloud classification scheme. Applications of the study's results include potential improvements to precipitation retrievals and the representation of cloud systems in general circulation models.
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