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Atmosphere 2016, 7(12), 154; doi:10.3390/atmos7120154

Cloud Properties under Different Synoptic Circulations: Comparison of Radiosonde and Ground-Based Active Remote Sensing Measurements

1
Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
Center of Technical Support and Service, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
3
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert W. Talbot
Received: 30 August 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 28 November 2016
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Abstract

In this study, long-term (10 years) radiosonde-based cloud data are compared with the ground-based active remote sensing product under six prevailing large-scale synoptic patterns, i.e., cyclonic center (CC), weak pressure pattern (WP), the southeast bottom of cyclonic center (CB), cold front (CF), anticyclone edge (AE) and anticyclone center (AC) over the Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. The synoptic patterns are generated by applying the self-organizing map weather classification method to the daily National Centers for Environmental Protection mean sea level pressure records from the North American Regional Reanalysis. It reveals that the large-scale synoptic circulations can strongly influence the regional cloud formation, and thereby have impact on the consistency of cloud retrievals from the radiosonde and ground-based cloud product. The total cloud cover at the SGP site is characterized by the least in AC and the most in CF. The minimum and maximum differences between the two cloud methods are 10.3% for CC and 13.3% for WP. Compared to the synoptic patterns characterized by scattered cloudy and clear skies (AE and AC), the agreement of collocated cloud boundaries between the two cloud approaches tends to be better under the synoptic patterns dominated by overcast and cloudy skies (CC, WP and CB). The rainy and windy weather conditions in CF synoptic pattern influence the consistency of the two cloud retrieval methods associated with the limited capabilities inherent to the instruments. The cloud thickness distribution from the two cloud datasets compares favorably with each other in all synoptic patterns, with relative discrepancy of ≤0.3 km. View Full-Text
Keywords: cloud; radiosonde; surface active remote sensing; synoptic patterns cloud; radiosonde; surface active remote sensing; synoptic patterns
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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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Zhang, J.; Li, J.; Xia, X.; Chen, H.; Ling, C. Cloud Properties under Different Synoptic Circulations: Comparison of Radiosonde and Ground-Based Active Remote Sensing Measurements. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 154.

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