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Satellite Regional Cloud Climatology over the Great Lakes
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
Advanced Satellite Products Branch, NOAA, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2013; in revised form: 14 November 2013 / Accepted: 15 November 2013 / Published: 25 November 2013
Abstract: Thirty-one years of imager data from polar orbiting satellites are composited to produce a satellite climate data set of cloud amount for the Great Lakes region. A trend analysis indicates a slight decreasing trend in cloud cover over the region during this time period. The trend is significant and largest (~2% per decade) over the water bodies. A strong seasonal cycle of cloud cover is observed over both land and water surfaces. Winter cloud amounts are greater over the water bodies than land due to heat and moisture flux into the atmosphere. Late spring through early autumn cloud amounts are lower over the water bodies than land due to stabilization of the boundary layer by relatively cooler lake waters. The influence of the lakes on cloud cover also extends beyond their shores, affecting cloud cover and properties far down wind. Cloud amount composited by wind direction demonstrate that the increasing cloud amounts downwind of the lakes is greatest during autumn and winter. Cold air flows over relatively warm lakes in autumn and winter generate wind parallel convective cloud bands. The cloud properties of these wind parallel cloud bands over the lakes during winter are presented.
Keywords: cloud cover; satellite cloud observations; Great Lakes
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Ackerman, S.A.; Heidinger, A.; Foster, M.J.; Maddux, B. Satellite Regional Cloud Climatology over the Great Lakes. Remote Sens. 2013, 5, 6223-6240.
Ackerman SA, Heidinger A, Foster MJ, Maddux B. Satellite Regional Cloud Climatology over the Great Lakes. Remote Sensing. 2013; 5(12):6223-6240.
Ackerman, Steven A.; Heidinger, Andrew; Foster, Michael J.; Maddux, Brent. 2013. "Satellite Regional Cloud Climatology over the Great Lakes." Remote Sens. 5, no. 12: 6223-6240.