85th AMS Annual Meeting

Tuesday, 11 January 2005
Comparison of monthly mean cloud fraction and cloud optical depth determined from surface cloud radar, TOVS, AVHRR, and MODIS over Barrow, Alaska
Taneil Uttal, NOAA/Earth Systems Research Laboratory, Boulder, CO; and S. Frisch, X. Wang Sr., J. Key, A. Schweiger, S. Sun-Mack, and P. Minnis
Poster PDF (67.2 kB)
A suite of cloud property retrieval techniques have been applied to a 6-year (1998-2003) data set of radar and radiometer measurements collected by the DOE/Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program in Barrow, Alaska. This multi-year, surface-based cloud data set provides information on cloud boundaries, optical depths, and vertical profiles of hydrometeor sizes (droplet and ice crystal), cloud water contents, and extinction. Cloud type classifications and retrievals have been applied to all cloud scenes including, ice, liquid, mixed-phase, multiple layer and for both night-time and day-time parts of the polar annual cycle

This data set is a powerful tool for validation of satellite-based retrievals of Arctic cloud properties since it is long enough to provide statistically significant comparisons for a number of cloud type subsets including all-ice, all-liquid, night-time, day-time, multiple layer, and/or mixed phase. These satellite and surface and satellite data sets have become available for multi-year periods only recently as the result of a significant coordinated effort by NASA, DOE, NSF and NOAA to develop technologies, observing strategies, and ground-based/space-based retrieval techniques to observe the properties of Arctic clouds.

Results will be presented for comparison between surface measurements of cloud properties and satellites retrievals from the (1) AVHRR APP-X cloud data set, (2) CERES-team Arctic cloud retrievals that utilize measurements from the MODIS instrument,(3) cloud retrievals from the standard MODIS MOD06 product, and the TOVS cloud product. This preliminary inter-comparison study will assess the relative ability of different satellite sensors and cloud algorithms to determine the properties of different cloud types under different conditions of sun angle, underlying surface properties and multiple-layer situations.

Emphasis will be placed on comparison of seasonal statistics and the impact of different time averaging (for surface sensors) and spatial averages (for satellites) will be investigated.

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