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Remote Sens. 2015, 7(6), 7768-7784; doi:10.3390/rs70607768

A 10-Year Cloud Fraction Climatology of Liquid Water Clouds over Bern Observed by a Ground-Based Microwave Radiometer

1
Institute of Applied Physics, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
2
Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Falkenplatz 16, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alexander A. Kokhanovsky and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 26 March 2015 / Revised: 24 May 2015 / Accepted: 2 June 2015 / Published: 11 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aerosol and Cloud Remote Sensing)
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Abstract

Cloud fraction (CF) is known as the dominant modulator of Earth’s radiative fluxes. Ground-based CF observations are useful to characterize the cloudiness of a specific site and are valuable for comparison with satellite observations and numerical models. We present for the first time CF statistics (relative to liquid clouds only) for Bern, Switzerland, derived from the observations of a ground-based microwave radiometer. CF is derived with a new method involving the analysis of the integrated liquid water distribution measured by the radiometer. The 10-year analyzed period (2004–2013) allowed us to compute a CF climatology for Bern, showing a maximum CF of 60.9% in winter and a minimum CF of 42.0% in summer. The CF monthly anomalies are identified with respect to the climatological mean values, and they are confirmed through MeteoSwiss yearly climatological bulletins. The CF monthly mean variations are similar to the observations taken at another Swiss location, Payerne, suggesting a large-scale correlation between different sites on the Swiss Plateau. A CF diurnal cycle is also computed, and large intraseasonal variations are found. The overall mean CF diurnal cycle, however, shows a typical sinusoidal cycle, with higher values in the morning and lower values in the afternoon. View Full-Text
Keywords: microwave radiometer; integrated cloud liquid water; liquid water path; cloud fraction; climatology; diurnal cycle; mid-latitudes; Bern; TROWARA microwave radiometer; integrated cloud liquid water; liquid water path; cloud fraction; climatology; diurnal cycle; mid-latitudes; Bern; TROWARA
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Cossu, F.; Hocke, K.; Mätzler, C. A 10-Year Cloud Fraction Climatology of Liquid Water Clouds over Bern Observed by a Ground-Based Microwave Radiometer. Remote Sens. 2015, 7, 7768-7784.

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