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Characteristics of Oceanic Warm Cloud Layers within Multilevel Cloud Systems Derived by Satellite Measurements

School of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China
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Atmosphere 2019, 10(8), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10080465
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 10 August 2019 / Accepted: 12 August 2019 / Published: 14 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Clouds)
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Abstract

Low-level warm clouds are a major component in multilayered cloud systems and they are generally hidden from the top-down view of satellites with passive measurements. This study conducts an investigation on oceanic warm clouds embedded in multilayered structures by using spaceborne radar data with fine vertical resolution. The occurrences of warm cloud overlapping and the geometric features of several kinds of warm cloud layers are examined. It is found that there are three main types of cloud systems that involve warm cloud layers, including warm single layer clouds, cold-warm double layer clouds, and warm-warm double layer clouds. The two types of double layer clouds account for 23% and in the double layer occurrences warm-warm double layer subsets contribute about 13%. The global distribution patterns of these three types differ from each other. Single-layer warm clouds and the lower warm clouds in the cold-warm double layer system they have nearly identical geometric parameters, while the upper and lower layer warm clouds in the warm-warm double layer system are distinct from the previous two forms of warm cloud layers. In contrast to the independence of the two cloud layers in cold-warm double layer system, the two kinds of warm cloud layers in the warm-warm double layer system may be coupled. The distance between the two layers in the warm-warm double layer system is weakly dependent on cloud thickness. Given the upper and lower cloud layer with moderate thickness of around 1 km, the cloudless gap reaches its maximum when exceeding 600 m. The cloudless gap decreases in thickness as the two cloud layers become even thinner or thicker. View Full-Text
Keywords: overlapping; multilayered clouds; warm clouds; warm-warm double layer clouds; geometric features overlapping; multilayered clouds; warm clouds; warm-warm double layer clouds; geometric features
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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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Ding, Y.; Liu, Q.; Lao, P. Characteristics of Oceanic Warm Cloud Layers within Multilevel Cloud Systems Derived by Satellite Measurements. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 465.

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