Thin Cloud Length Scales Using CALIPSO and CloudSat Data
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Thin clouds are the most difficult cloud type to observe. The recent availability of joint cloud products from the active remote sensing instruments aboard CloudSat and the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite (CALIPSO) facilitates the study of these clouds. Using one of these joint cloud products, 2B-GEOPROF-Lidar, and a post-processing algorithm designed to find horizontally continuous thin clouds within the cloud product, the locations, length scales, and vertical distributions by length of thin clouds are determined. It is found that thin clouds vary in length from a few km to over 2900 km and tend to be longer in the tropical upper troposphere than lower in the atmosphere and at higher latitudes. In the upper troposphere between 0° and 40°N, over 20% of all thin cloud measurements in the 2B-GEOPROF-Lidar product are contributed by thin clouds that are longer than 500 km. In fact, in this latitude range, over 65% of all thin cloud measurements are contributed by clouds longer than 100 km. Also, thin cloud length and frequency differ between the four seasons in the year of data used here.
Solbrig, Jeremy E. (2009). Thin Cloud Length Scales Using CALIPSO and CloudSat Data. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from