Optical and geometrical properties of cirrus clouds over the Tibetan Plateau measured by LiDAR and radiosonde sounding during the summertime in 2014

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Abstract

Optical and geometrical characteristics of the cirrus clouds over Naqu (4508 m a.s.l., 31.48° N, 92.06° E), in the Tibetan Plateau were determined from LiDAR and radiosonde measurements performed during the third TIbetan Plateau EXperiment of atmospheric sciences (TIPEX III) campaign from July to August 2014. For the analysis of the temperature dependence, the simultaneous observations with LiDAR and radiosonde were conducted. Cirrus clouds were generally observed ranging from 5.2 km to 12 km above ground level (AGL) (i.e., 9.7 km to 16.5 km a.s.l.), with the midcloud temperatures ranging from -79.7 to -26.0 °C. The cloud thickness generally differed from 0.12 to 2.55 km with a mean thickness of 1.22 ± 0.70 km, and 85.7% of the measurement cases had thickness smaller than 1.5 km. The retrievals of linear particle depolarization ratio, extinction coefficient, and optical depth of cirrus clouds were provided. Moreover, the multiple scattering effect inside of cirrus clouds was corrected. The linear particle depolarization ratio of the cirrus clouds varied from 0.36 to 0.52, with a mean value of 0.44 ± 0.04. The optical depth of the cirrus clouds was between 0.01 and 3 following the scheme of Fernald-Klett method. Sub-visual, thin, and opaque cirrus clouds were observed at 4.76%, 61.90% and 33.34% of the measured cases, respectively. The temperature and thickness dependencies of the optical properties were studied in detail. A maximum cirrus thickness of around 2 km was found at temperatures between -60 and -50 °C. This study shows that the mean extinction coefficient of the cirrus clouds increases with the increase of temperature. Conversely, the measurements indicate that the linear particle depolarization ratio decreases with the increasing temperature. The relationships between the existence of cirrus clouds and the temperature anomaly (temperature difference from the mean value of the temperature during July and August 2014 over Naqu) and deep convective activity are also discussed. The formation of cirrus clouds is investigated and also its apparent relationship with the South Asia High Pressure, the dynamic processes of Rossby wave, and deep convective activity over the Tibetan Plateau. The outgoing longwave radiation of cirrus clouds is calculated with the Fu-Liou model and is shown to increases monotonously with the increase of optical depth.

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Dai, G., Wu, S., Song, X., & Liu, L. (2019). Optical and geometrical properties of cirrus clouds over the Tibetan Plateau measured by LiDAR and radiosonde sounding during the summertime in 2014. Remote Sensing, 11(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11030302

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