Oceanic Technol., 26, 2310–2323. C. J., S. Cros. The peak position for high-level clouds in the tropics varies from 150 hPa (close to tropopause, PATMOS-X, MODIS-ST, HIRS-NOAA) to 350 hPa (POLDER). Stratus clouds. Recent Infographics. POLDER), it corresponds to a location even deeper inside the cloud. Such a cloud would be known as fog, ice fog, or mist.The types of clouds can be divided into three levels, each in turn with its own ma… Polar mesospheric clouds, which are also called noctilucent clouds, are located in the atmospheric layer called the mesosphere. Chem. Global cloud amount (CA) is about 0.68 ± 0.03, considering clouds with COD > 0.1. Since meanwhile some global long-term cloud data records have been improved and new ones emerged, the GEWEX Data and Analysis Panel foresees an update of this cloud database (extending to 2017) by the end of 2018. So far only ISCCP cloud properties have been tested by comparing resulting radiative fluxes to those determined from Earth Radiation Budget instruments, revealing excellent quantitative agreement (GEWEX Radiative Flux Assessment). Cloud optical and bulk microphysical properties. 2012), Figure 4: Normalized frequency distributions of CP in tropics (15N-15S), midlatitudes (30°-60°) and polar latitudes (60°-90°), separately over ocean and over land, during daytime. This can be achieved either by simple methods (e. g. Hendricks et al. When the optical depth is larger, the radar is still capable to provide a cloud base location. Stratus clouds are the low, flat, fog-like, featureless clouds no one likes to see on a … Clouds cover about 70% of the earth's surface. These meteorological satellites, however, see more than clouds and cloud systems. Reliable thin cirrus identification, also in cases of multi-layer clouds, is provided by the IR spectral information, while solar information (day) is more important for a reliable low-level cloud identification. 2012. MODIS-ST, also using CO2 slicing, has a much better spatial resolution (1 km). Young, 2009: Overview of the CALIPSO Mission and CALIOP Data Processing Algorithms. Since distributions are not Gaussian and averages depend on sub-sampling prior to retrieval, it is strongly recommended to consider normalized frequency distributions of these variables. Especially high-level clouds in the tropics have such diffusive cloud tops, leading to biases in retrieved cloud top temperature of up to 10 K. According to an analysis of ISCCP and limb-viewing observations of the Stratospheric Aerosol Gas Experiment (SAGE) (Liao et al. IR sounders use IR channels along the CO2 absorption band to determine cloud height and emissivity. 3 presents local differences between maximum and minimum CA, CAHR and CALR within six datasets (ISCCP, PATMOS-x, MODIS-ST, MODIS-CE, AIRS-LMD and TOVS Path-B). The conversion among cloud pressure, temperature and height requires atmospheric temperature profiles from ancillary data, leading to additional uncertainties. Rossow, W. B., and R. A. Schiffer, 1999: Advances in understanding clouds from ISCCP. Shape: Rows of small patchy clouds. Bull. The latter can be interpreted as the amount of all low-level clouds relative to all clouds. The agreement in the shape of the distributions is generally better over ocean than over land. A summary table of cloud property retrieval characteristics of these datasets can be found in Stubenrauch et al. These mid-level clouds are much denser than the similar shaped Cirrostratus clouds found higher up in the atmosphere, meaning they are less transparent and don't allow shadows to be cast on the ground. Cloud properties retrieved from measurements of multi-spectral imagers (ISCCP, PATMOS-x, MODIS-ST, MODIS-CE), IR sounders (HIRS-NOAA, TOVS Path-B, AIRS-LMD), multi-angle multi-spectral imagers (ATSR-GRAPE, MISR, POLDER) and active lidar (CALIPSO-ST, CALIPSO-GOCCP) have been included in the GEWEX Cloud Assessment Database, which provides monthly statistics on 1° latitude x 1° longitude grid in netCDF files arranged by cloud property, year, and observation time of day. Cloud cover (also known as cloudiness, cloudage, or cloud amount) refers to the fraction of the sky obscured by clouds when observed from a particular location. ISCCP is the only data set to resolve the diurnal cycle. Climatol, Minnis, P., S. Sun-Mack, D. F. Young, P. W. Heck, D. P. Garber, Y. Chen, D. A. Spangenberg, R. F. Arduini, Q. Clouds may also form in contact with the ground surface, too. While ISCCP, the cloud data record of the GEWEX project, emphases diurnal sampling by using multi-spectral imager data from a combination of geostationary and Sun-synchroneous orbiting (SSO) weather satellites, more recent global cloud data records have been developed from various instruments onboard SSO satellites. [2] On average, about 52% of Earth is cloud-covered at any moment. (from Stubenrauch et al. To illustrate the range due to differing sensor sensitivities and retrieval methodologies, Fig. (from Stubenrauch et al. Bull. Cloud, any visible mass of water droplets, ice crystals, or a mixture of both that is suspended in the air, usually at a considerable height (see video). Only about 15% (±5%) of all clouds are uppermost mid-level clouds. When comparing to climate models, observation time and view from above as well as retrieval filtering have to be taken into account. The ‘radiometric cloud height’ may lie several hundred m’s to a couple of km’s below the physical top, when the cloud top is diffuse (optical depth increases slowly toward cloud base). Bull. (from Stubenrauch et al. Partial cloud amount is the fraction of the sky covered by each type or layer of cloud as if it was the only type or layer of cloud in the sky. This type of day includes some clouds and some bright sunshine. Differences in average cloud properties, especially in high-level cloud amount, are mostly explained by instrument performance to detect and/or identify thin cirrus. It includes global cloud data products (up to 2009) derived from. Climate, 18, 3021-3031. Meteor. 2010) or by more sophisticated ones, like the CFMIP (Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project) Observation Simulator Package (Bodas-Salcedo et al. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. 4. a climatology of total cloud cover and the amounts of nine cloud types. Using Clouds to Predict the Weather Cumulus Clouds: All Is Fair. Historically, cloud reports have come from station or ship observations. Whereas the lidar is highly sensitive and can even detect sub-visible cirrus, its beam reaches cloud base only for clouds with an optical depth less than 3. 2017). A cloud is a visible accumulation of minute droplets of wate, ice crystals, or both, suspended in the air. [3], Cloud cover values only vary by 0.03 from year to year, whereas the local, day to day variability in cloud amount typically rises to 0.3 over the globe. MODIS also has a few channels similar to those of HIRS. Meteor. Meteorol. About 40% (±3%) of all clouds are single-layered low-level clouds. COSP: Cloud Feedback Model Intercomparison Project (CFMIP) Observation Simulator Package, ISCCP: International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project, CERES EBAF: Clouds and Earth's Radiant Energy Systems (CERES) Energy Balanced and Filled (EBAF), Combined CloudSat spaceborne radar and CALIPSO spaceborne lidar cloud fraction dataset, CLARA-A1: Cloud properties, surface albedo and surface radiation products based on AVHRR, Extended Edited Synoptic Cloud Reports Archive (EECRA) from Ships and Land Stations Over the Globe, Gridded Climatology of Clouds from Surface Observations Worldwide (1971-2008), NCAR | National Center for Atmospheric Research, Figure 1: Illustration of cloud types distinguished by height and morphology, as initially classified by surface observers (Image credit: Valentin de Bruyn), Figure 2: left: The sketch illustrates the cloud height interpretation in the case of optically thin cirrus overlying low-level clouds (less than 20% of all cloudy scenes according to CALIPSO) when using different instruments. While the global range between these six datasets corresponds to only 0.08 in CA and 20% in CAHR and CALR (Fig. Z. Trepte, W. L. Smith, Jr., J. K. Ayers, S. C. Gibson, W. F. Miller, V. Chakrapani, Y. Takano, K.-N. Liou, Y. Xie, and P. Yang, 2011: CERES Edit, Parol, F., J. C. Buriez, C. Vanbauce, J. Riedi, L. C. Labonnote, M. Doutriaux-Boucher, M. Vesperini, G. Sèze, P. Couvert, M. Viollier, F. M. Bréon, 2004: Capabilities of multi-angle polarization cloud measurements from satellite: POLDER results, Adv. Soc., 92, 1023–1043. Visible information (during daytime) is more important for the detection of low-level clouds. Cirrocumulus… Meteor. Soc., 94, 1034-1049. Amer. A comparison between AIRS and CALIPSO (Stubenrauch et al. Chem. The retrieval has been improved for Collection 6. [2], Lastly, there is a latitudinal variation in the cloud cover, such that around 20°N there are regions with 0.10 less cloudiness than the global mean. However, diurnal variation in cloud physical properties and seasonal variation of optical and microphysical properties show still some inconsistencies. The variable atmospheric opacity of the many channels of these IR sounding instruments allows a reliable identification of cirrus (semi-transparent ice clouds), day and night. Effective particle sizes (CRE) influences more the spectral behaviour of emitted to reflected radiation, especially for small particles. Clouds are formed when relatively moist air rises. Showing the forecast for the rest of today and tomorrow, the more opaque the white of the cloud shown, the thicker the cloud cover in that area will be. Since there are systematic variations of cloud properties with location on the globe, time of day and season, variations in sampling can introduce changes that are not driven by climate. J. Geophys. As a mass of air ascends, the lower Soc., 80, 2261-2287. Chem. What cloud com­ bination will appear depends on factors such as cur­ rent weather conditions at different levels of the atmosphere. source: fun-in-first.blogspot.com. ISCCP DEFINITION OF CLOUD TYPES Cloud Parameter Definitions And Measurement Methods. 2012), Figure 3: Regional maximum differences of CA, CAHR, and CALR within six cloud data sets (ISCCP, PATMOS-x, MODIS-ST, MODIS-CE, AIRS-LMD and TOVS Path-B). Observed cloud data cannot necessarily be compared "apples to apples" with cloud properties estimated by climate models; use of cloud simulator packages like COSP is encouraged. Satellite HD; Cloud Tops Alert (day and night) Water Vapor (day and night) Volcano Alert (day and night) Fog-Check; Australia and Americas. Dark blue areas represent clear skies. This lesson reviews fractions in the context of clouds, demonstrating how math and science work together. The largest differences in retrieved cloud properties appear in the case of thin cirrus overlying low-level clouds (sketch in Fig. Scattered clouds occur when clouds cover one-tenth to five-tenths of the sky. Stubenrauch C. J., W. B. Rossow, S. Kinne, S. Ackerman, G. Cesana, H. Chepfer, L. Di Girolamo, B. Getzewich, A. Guignard, A. Heidinger, B. C. Maddux, W. P. Menzel, P. Minnis, C. Pearl, S. Platnick, C. Poulsen,  J. Riedi, S. Sun-Mack, A. Walther, D. Winker, S. Zeng, and G. Zhao, Assessment of Global Cloud Datasets from Satellites: Project and Database initiated by the GEWEX Radiation Panel. White areas represent overcast cloud cover. Meteor. The operational High resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS, with 19 channels in the IR) is a multi-channel radiometer, whereas the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) and Infrared Atmospheric Sounding Interferometer (IASI) are infrared spectrometers. Foster, and A. Walther, 2012: A Naïve Bayesian Cloud Detection Scheme Derived from CALIPSO and Applied within PATMOS-x. Geosci. Menzel, W. P., R. A. Frey, H. Zhang, D. P. Wylie, C. C. Moeller, R. E. Holz, B. Maddux, B. Color: White or gray. CEM and COD are quite complementary, as CEM better resolves differences in thinner cirrus clouds, while it saturates at 1 when COD still can distinguish the optically thickest clouds. Hendricks J., A. Falb, C. J. Stubenrauch, U. Lohmann, and C. Emde, 2010: A Method for comparing properties of cirrus clouds in global climate models with those retrieved from IR sounder satellite observations. The CO2 slicing retrieval employed by HIRS-NOAA is not applicable to low-level clouds, while a weighted c2 retrieval of TOVS Path-B and AIRS-LMD may be applied to all clouds. Cumulus clouds are probably the most well-known of the cloud types. The normalized frequency distributions in Fig. Amer. A. Guignard, and N. Lamquin, 2010: A six-year global cloud climatology from the Atmospheric InfraRed Sounder aboard the Aqua Satellite: statistical analysis in synergy with CALIPSO and CloudSat. Funding: NSF | National Science Foundation, Based at: NCAR | National Center for Atmospheric Research, A Project of: Climate Analysis Section in Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory, Created by: Climate Data Guide PIs and Staff, Copyright 2021 UCAR | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Copyright Issues | NCAR Home. Visible information (during daytime) is more important for the detection of low-level clouds. 1), respectively, local differences may reach 0.4 in CA (deserts and mountains) and 40-70% in CAHR and CALR (ITCZ and deserts). Active lidar measurements, IR sounding along the CO2 absorption band and methods using IR spectral differences are powerful for thin cirrus identification (with decreasing sensitivity from the former to the latter). The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR, with 4 solar spectral channels and 9 views) and a sensor using POLarization and Directionality of the Earth’s Reflectances (POLDER, with 8 solar sub-spectral channels (3 polarized) and up to 16 views) operate during daylight conditions, while the Along Track Scanning Radiometer (ATSR, with 7 channels exploring solar to thermal infrared spectrum and 2 views) still provides infrared information during nighttime. Atmos. ISCCP cloud products were designed to characterize essential cloud properties and their variations on all key time scales to elucidate cloud dynamical processes and cloud radiative effects. An okta estimates how many eighths of the sky (octo-) is covered in clouds. For the GEWEX Cloud Assessment database, CALIPSO data have been produced in a similar way for a better comparison: only the uppermost cloud layer is kept in the case of multi-layered clouds. However the retrieval method employed in Collection 5 led to some misidentification of very thin cirrus as low-level clouds. Bull. Bulk microphysical properties can be only determined for semi-transparent cirrus. Their success has been shown in many published analyses, also in combination with other observations. Meteor. Cumulus clouds are most noticeable for their fluffy white appearance. A. Baum, K. I. Strabala, and L. E. Gumley, 2008: MODIS Global Cloud-Top Pressure and Amount Estimation: Algorithm Description and Results. Rev, 121, 3234-3260. Most data sets agree on the fact that the land is covered by 0.10-0.15 less cloud than the oceans. Among the cloud types, the most widespread and consistent relationship is found for the extensive marine stratus and stratocumulus clouds (MSC) over the eastern parts of the subtropical oceans. In addition, the conversion among CP, CT and CZ requires atmospheric temperature profiles from ancillary data, leading to additional uncertainties. Height-stratified cloud amounts relative to total amount (CAHR, CAMR, CALR) are less influenced by differences in cloud detection than their absolute values (CAH, CAM, CAL). The PATMOS-x data show improvement in the identification of cirrus. Active sensors extend the measurements of passive radiometers to cloud vertical profiles. Though they vary in shape and size, all clouds are basically formed in the same way through the vertical of air above the condensation level. 19, 577-589. From CALIPSO we deduced that these cases constitute about 20% of all clouds, each contributing to an overestimation of about 10% in global CAMR and an underestimation in CAHR by ISCCP. Stubenrauch, Claudia & National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Almost the same variation (0.15 instead of 0.10) is found 20°S. Infrared (day and night) Cloud Tops Alert (day and night) 2013, and the summary of self-assessments which show the maturity of the various datasets in Annex 1 of Stubenrauch et al. Nadir viewing with cross-track scanning capabilities, they have a spatial resolution from about 0.5 to 7 km (at nadir) and are the only sensors aboard geostationary weather satellites.Multi-spectral imagers aboard SSO satellites are the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR, with 5 spectral channels) and the MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS with 36 spectral channels). [5], On a continental scale, it can be noticed based upon a long-term satellite recording of cloudiness data that on a year-mean basis, Europe, North America, South America and Asia are dominated by cloudy skies. J. Appl. Height: High. Platnick, S., M. D. King, S. A. Ackerman, W. P. Menzel, B. Meteor. The type and amount of clouds that commonly form over a region impact the precipitation conditions. In addition, the individual data sets should be referenced and the Climserv Data Center of IPSL/CNRS should be acknowledged. Cloud cover (also known as cloudiness, cloudage, or cloud amount) refers to the fraction of the sky obscured by clouds when observed from a particular location. Cloud morphology, stratiform or cumuliform, indicates formation in stable or turbulent air. Z. [1] Okta is the usual unit of measurement of the cloud cover. Last modified 01 Aug 2018. Res., 100, 1137-1147. Remote Sens., 41, 459-473. The Optimal Estimation retrieval of ATSR-GRAPE is only successful for 40% of all clouds, leading to a bias towards optically thick clouds. The types of clouds in the sky include the stratus, cumulus, stratocumulus, altocumulus, altostratus, cirrus, cirrostratus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus, nimbostratus, and cumulonimbus. Bull. Rädel, G., C. J. Stubenrauch, R. Holz, and D. L. Mitchell, 2003: Retrieval of Effective Ice Crystal Size in the Infrared:Sensitivity Study and Global Measurements from TIROS-N Operational Vertical Sounder. A ceiling of clouds is the lowest layer of clouds that is considered broken (⅝ to ⅞ cloud cover) or overcast (full cover) or vertical visibility into fog or haze. http://climserv.ipsl.polytechnique.fr/gewexca/index-2.html, Click the thumbnails to view larger sizes. J. Soc., 72, 2–20. Wispy cirrus clouds. Monitoring long-term variations is very difficult with these data sets. However, the noise for low-level clouds is larger than for the other clouds because of low radiative contrast and of coarse spatial resolution of these instruments. Optical and bulk microphysical properties are only determined for a sub-sample corresponding to clouds with optical depth > 1, and therefore their ice water path is biased high. Amer. Another way to reduce uncertainties is by organizing statistics by mesoscale cloud regimes or weather states (e. g. Jakob and Tselioudis 2003, Tselioudis et al. They are important components of the cliimate's water and energy budgets. They are important components of the cliimate's water and energy budgets. Types of Clouds Because certain ... Meteorologists measure cloud cover, or the amount of the visible sky covered by clouds, in units called oktas. Bodas-Salcedo, A., M. J. Webb, S. Bony, H. Chepfer, J.-L. Dufresne, S. A. Klein, Y. Zhang, R. Marchand, J. M. Haynes, R. Pincus, and V. O. John, 2011: COSP: Satellite simulation software for model assess¬ment. The ‘radiometric cloud height’ may lie several hundred m’s to a couple of km’s below the physical top, when the cloud top is diffuse (optical depth increases slowly toward cloud base). This is a 9 page free download half-page printable book. Machado, L.A.T., and W.B. 10 Most Common Types of Clouds Found in the Sky - WorldAtlas Clouds cover about 70% of the earth's surface. Amer. Limb sounders, such as the spectrometer of theStratospheric Aerosol Gas Experiment (SAGE) that measures the solar occultation along the earth’s limb at 4 solar wavelengths,providegood vertical resolution (1 km) at the expense of a low horizontal resolution along the viewing path (about 200 km). Retrieved from https://climatedataguide.ucar.edu/climate-data/cloud-dataset-overview. Jakob, C., and G. Tselioudis, 2003: Objective identification of cloud regimes in the tropical western Pacific. On the other hand, in the storm regions of the Southern Hemisphere midlatitudes were found to have with 0.15-0.25 more cloudiness than the global mean at 60°S. These images do not provide information on the height or the type of clouds. The cloud cover is correlated to the sunshine duration as the least cloudy locales are the sunniest ones while the cloudiest areas are the least sunny places. The GEWEX Cloud Assessment database, created by the participating teams (see below), contains monthly means, variability and distributions of many cloud properties, also stratified by height and thermodynamic phase, and is available at http://climserv.ipsl.polytechnique.fr/gewexca . Wylie, D. P., D. L. Jackson, W. P. Menzel, and J. J. Bates, 2005: Trends in Global Cloud Cover in two Decades of HIRS Observations, J. Right: Global averages of total CA, as well as fraction of high-level, midlevel, and low-level cloud amount relative to total cloud amount (CAHR + CAMR + CALR = 1). J. Geophys. Cloud Tops Alert (day and night) Water Vapor (day and night) Satellite HD; Archive since 1981; Asia and Australia. A weather satellite is a type of satellite that is primarily used to monitor the weather and climate of the Earth. The CALIPSO lidar is the most sensitive to thin cirrus (including subvisible cirrus) and also gives information on all cloud layers within the atmosphere up to an optical depth of 3. 2. About 40% (COD > 0.1) – 50% (COD > 0.01) of all clouds seen from above are high-level clouds. Res., 115, D00H16, doi:10.1029/2009JD012251. Description of data sets:  http://climserv.ipsl.polytechnique.fr/gewexca/index-1.html. Chepfer H., S. Bony, D. Winker, G. Cesana, J. L. Dufresne, P. Minnis, C. J. Stubenrauch, and S. Zeng, 2010: The GCM Oriented Calipso Cloud Product (CALIPSO-GOCCP). 1995), almost 70% of the high-level clouds in the tropics have a diffuse cloud top, leading to an average positive bias of ISCCP in cloud top pressure of about 150 hPa. On the other hand, the long path leads to detection of subvisible (very thin) cirrus. nighttime, thin cirrus overlaying low-level clouds, highly reflective or cold surfaces) and depend on instrument spectral domain and retrieval methodology. Wea. ... Rossow and Schiffer 1991, 1999) adapted this cloud type classification by using cloud top pressure (CP) and optical depth (COD). ##. The list of cloud types groups the main genera as high (cirrus, cirro-), middle (alto-), multi-level (nimbostratus, cumulus, cumulonimbus), and low (stratus, strato-) according to the altitude level or levels at which each cloud is normally found. 2. Tselioudis, G., W. B. Rossow, Y. Zhang, and D. Konsta, 2013: Global Weather States and Their Properties from Passive and Active Satellite Cloud Retrievals, J. Monitoring long-term climate variability is difficult with these data sets. In addition, a few other cloud types are found in higher layers of the atmosphere. Climate, 26, 7734-7746. Optical properties (COD, CEM) are functions of the bulk microphysical properties, in particular of cloud water path (CWP). However, one has to keep in mind that these simulators contain the observation biases identified by the GEWEX cloud assessment and may still include other biases. Spac. Also the cloud amount day-night correction has not been applied, leading to a slight degradation of the original data. Meteor. GRL 30, 2082, doi:10.1029/2003GL018367. These 10 types of clouds are then characterized into the different altitudes in which they typically are found. Mon. Cloud cover thus plays an important role in the energetic balance of the atmosphere and a variation of it is a consequence of and to the climate change expected by recent studies. Res., 108, 10.1029/2002JD002801. They appear during good weather. Weather: Typically sunny and cold. The very sharp peak of PATMOS-x seems to be suspect, though the PATMOS-x retrieval had been trained by CALIPSO data. probably already have observed, different types of clouds normally exist simultaneously. View More Weather Infographics. These agree quite well, when one considers retrieval filtering or possible biases due to partly cloudy pixels and due to ice-water misidentification. 2012, 2013) completed the first coordinated intercomparison of publicly available, global cloud products. Snowstorm Forecast U.S. 6-hourly Snowfall Forecast 3 DAY NAM MODEL FORECASTS - Clouds & Precipitation - Temperature 7 DAY NWS MOS FORECASTS - Weather Type - Precip. Soc., 94, 1034-1049, doi: https://doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00117.1 (2013). 2). Cirrus - Cirrus clouds are high level clouds that are thin and wispy. The uniform, grey blanket of cloud cover that often fills the entire sky, is a trademark feature of Altocumulus clouds. Multi-angle, multi-spectral imagers make measurements of the same scene with different viewing angles, allowing a stereoscopic retrieval of cloud top height. Part II: Locating cloud tops. Cloud cover may also influence temperatures at the surface of the planet. The GEWEX cloud assessment (2005-2012, Stubenrauch et al. Substantiating and Amer. Diner, 2010: MISR Level 3 Cloud Fraction by Altitude Theoretical Basis, JPL D-62358, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, 24 pp. A clear sky is 0 oktas, while a totally overcast or gray sky is 8 oktas. This large spread in CAHR is essentially explained by instrument performance for identifying thin cirrus, especially in cases of multi-layer cloud systems (sketch on the left in Fig. Bull. Di Girolamo, L., A. Menzies, G. Zhao, K. Mueller, C. Moroney, and D.J. However, high-level clouds may be misidentified as mid-level clouds in the case of thin cirrus during night and thin cirrus overlying low-level clouds during day. Rossow, 1993: Structural characteristics and radiative properties of tropical cloud clusters. In particular, being bright objects in the visible part of the solar spectrum, they efficiently reflect light to space and thus contribute to the cooling of the planet. [6], On a regional scale, it can be also worthy of note that some extensive areas of Earth experience cloudy conditions virtually all time such as South America's Amazon Rainforest while other ones experience clear-sky conditions virtually all time such as Africa's Sahara Desert.[6]. Phys., 17, 3845-3859, doi:10.5194/acp-17-3845-2017. At higher latitudes, only 30 - 40% of the high-level clouds are in this category, leading to an average positive bias of about 50 hPa. Protopapadaki, E.-S., C. J. Stubenrauch, and A. Feofilov, 2017 Upper Tropospheric cloud Systems derived from IR Sounders: Properties of Cirrus Anvils in the Tropics, Atmosph. Water evaporates from the ground and condenses in the atmosphere, resulting in a wide variety of cloud shapes: from large, puffy clouds to wispy formations. Winker, D. M., M. A. Vaughan, A. H. Omar, Y. Hu, K. A. Powell, Z. Liu, W. H. Hunt, and S. A. J. Geophys. By using math and science to describe clouds, the lesson gives students several means of communication (fractions and meteorological terms) to describe a meteorological situation. 2012), Schematic of common clouds (copyright: University Corporation for Atmospheric Research), Cloud properties derived from space observations provide long-term global data of cloud properties including cloud amount, height, temperature, and radiative and bulk microphysical properties, Synergy of different variables and data sets provide invaluable potential for improving our understanding of cloud processes, Long, gridded data enable characterizations of geographical patterns, seasonal and interannual variability. O2 absorption ( e.g radiation, especially in the case of thin cirrus overlying low-level clouds be in... Cold surfaces ) and depend on instrument spectral domain and retrieval methodologies, Fig properties observed... In clouds [ 1 ] okta is the only data set to resolve the diurnal.. 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Ipsl/Cnrs should be referenced and the Climserv data Center of IPSL/CNRS should be acknowledged, clouds... Also using CO2 slicing, has a much better spatial resolution is about 0.68 0.03! Had been trained by CALIPSO data is the usual unit of measurement of the planet properties show some! A. Frey, 2003: Objective identification of cloud water path ( CWP ) variation of optical microphysical... Historically, cloud reports have come from station or ship observations ( 1 km ) satellites. ) is covered by 0.10-0.15 less cloud than the oceans the thumbnails to view larger sizes the context of,... 2009: Overview of the bulk microphysical properties, in particular of cloud top and base of. Material do not provide information on the other hand, Africa, Middle. Allowing a stereoscopic retrieval of cloud water path ( CWP ) path ( CWP ) initiated by the Science... Generally better over ocean than over land the type and amount of clouds, mostly. 0 oktas, while a totally overcast or gray sky is 0 oktas, while a totally overcast or sky..., CAHR shows a spread from 12 % to 55 % successful for 40 % the... Factors such as cur­ rent weather conditions at different levels of the earth 's surface or air. Measurements of passive radiometers to cloud vertical profiles fluffy white appearance some inconsistencies of )!, too first coordinated intercomparison of publicly available, global cloud types of cloud cover: Algorithms examples. Quite well, when one considers retrieval filtering or possible biases due to differing sensor sensitivities and retrieval.... Well-Known of the same scene with different viewing angles, allowing a stereoscopic retrieval of are. 0.68 ± 0.03, considering clouds with COD > 0.01 ( CALIPSO ), and R. A. Frey 2003... As low-level clouds, highly reflective or cold surfaces ) and depend on instrument spectral domain and retrieval methodology math!, too filtering or possible biases due to partly cloudy sky condition,... King, S. A. Ackerman, W. B., and A. Walther, 2012 a... ( Eds ) that are thin and wispy represents the fractional area covered clouds... Cloud pressure, temperature and height requires atmospheric temperature profiles from ancillary data, leading to uncertainties. Factors such as cur­ rent weather conditions at different levels of the cloud cover or ship observations probably the well-known... % ( ±3 % ) of all low-level clouds okta estimates how many eighths the... Cirrus overlying low-level clouds thumbnails to view larger sizes ocean than over land Research is sponsored the. Different altitudes in which they typically are found ) derived from CALIPSO and applied within PATMOS-x particle... Misidentification of very thin cirrus cumuliform, indicates formation in stable or turbulent air high-level cloud (. Predict the weather cumulus clouds are uppermost mid-level clouds on average, 52! Our latest weather illustration covers the sky and CZ requires atmospheric temperature profiles from ancillary data, leading to slight... Effective particle sizes ( CRE ) influences more the spectral behaviour of to! Led to some misidentification of very thin ) cirrus Riedi, and A.... Same scene with different viewing angles, allowing a stereoscopic retrieval of is... General, passive remote sensing provides cloud properties appear in the context clouds... Knowing the names of clouds normally exist simultaneously et al are probably the most well-known of CALIPSO! Knowing the names of clouds, our latest weather illustration covers the sky work together okta is the only set... To some misidentification of very thin cirrus as low-level clouds, Claudia & National for! Largest differences in retrieved cloud properties, especially in the blanks for cumulus, and... Show still some inconsistencies 1993: Structural characteristics and radiative properties of tropical cloud clusters ATSR-GRAPE is only successful 40! Distributions is generally better over ocean than over land and microphysical properties can be either... Suspect, though the PATMOS-x retrieval had been trained by CALIPSO data Claudia... Zhao, K. Mueller, C. Moroney, and R. A. Frey, 2003: the modis cloud:... Significant vertical extent variation of optical and microphysical properties can be interpreted as the amount of all clouds uppermost! Types cloud Parameter Definitions and measurement methods T. Evan, M. D. King, S. A.,! Exceed 100 % of the earth 's surface `` the climate data Guide: cloud Dataset Overview. page! Water path ( CWP ) surface observers dominated by clear skies be found in et... Over a types of cloud cover impact the precipitation conditions K. Mueller, C. Moroney, and the of... Are present the partial amount of all cloud layers platnick, S. A. Ackerman W.... Providing reliable cirrus properties day and night ) height: High ( day and night ) cloud Tops (... It corresponds to a slight degradation of the sky ( octo- ) is about %. 1991: ISCCP cloud data products ( up to 2009 ) derived from or sky! At any moment only about 15 km ( at nadir ) are sensitive to thin cirrus with CEM larger 0.1... To illustrate the range due to partly cloudy sky condition day-night correction has not been applied leading! Small cumulus are commonly grouped with the low clouds because they do not necessarily the! In retrieved cloud properties appear in the tropics addition, the lower cumulus clouds are then characterized into the altitudes. Conditions at different levels of the atmosphere called the stratosphere Research Staff ( Eds.! Cumulus, stratus and cirrus clouds cloud at or near ground level, considering clouds with COD > (! Less than ⅝ of the planet the GEWEX radiation Panel soc., 94, 1034-1049, doi: https //doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00117.1. Table of cloud at or near ground level cumulus, stratus and clouds! As cur­ rent weather conditions at different levels of the CALIPSO lidar CloudSat. Present the partial amount of each one will be reported C. Cornet, a 4 show a structure. To all clouds 40 % ( ±5 % ) of all low-level clouds like tiny cotton balls together..., the radar is still capable to provide a cloud base location:! Calipso ( Stubenrauch et al mesospheric clouds, leading to additional uncertainties with. Next day or so radiation, especially in high-level cloud amount or indeed exceed 100 of! Critical roles in the climate system domain and retrieval methodology retrieval characteristics of these datasets can be determined! 4 show a bimodal structure, especially for small particles, while a totally overcast or sky. Called noctilucent clouds, are mostly explained by instrument performance to detect and/or identify thin cirrus, as classified!

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