Wednesday, 25 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
Clouds play a key role in weather forecasting and the understanding of the movement of the atmosphere. Knowing the altitude of a cloud can greatly assist with knowing what future weather events may lay ahead and with forecast verification. With the ever-growing severity of global warming, there arises a question of whether this has any effect on cloud base height trends. This study uses data collected from ceilometers and analyzes the trends of cloud base altitudes from January 2006 to December 2015 over Howard University, Beltsville Campus in Maryland. The results show that over the ten year span, there was little change in height. This suggests that for future research, the time period must be much greater to show any substantial differences. The research looks further into clouds detected by the Beltsville site instruments that are located above 12000 ft, a nominal height for the nationwide reporting for ceiling height in the Automated Systems Observing Systems (ASOS) operated by NOAA. The ceilometer network in ASOS is capable of detecting heights up to 25000 ft, but only data up to 12000 ft is reported. The ceilometers at Beltsville found that of all the clouds detected over the ten year time period, about 30% were located above 12000 ft.
We will report this work at a single station, Beltsville-Maryland and will compare to data from actual station networks across the state of MD. A comparison with Lifting Condensation Level will also be reported.
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