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Characterization of low clouds with satellite and ground-based remote sensing systems

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Satellite and ground-based retrievals of a number of (low) cloud characteristics are compared in this paper in order to assess the performance of the techniques and identify potential synergies. Centred on the COST720 International Comparison Campaign for Temperature, hUmidity and Cloud profiling (TUC), four cases with different meteorological situations are analysed in detail. Parameter agreement (for cloud presence, liquid water path, cloud geometrical thickness and cloud top temperature) is good in general. It is shown that satellite retrievals of liquid water path and cloud thickness could be improved using liquid water content derived from ground-based measurements, while ground-based retrievals can profit from the spatial component in satellite data. Taken together, the combination of instruments and techniques presented in this paper allows for a detailed assessment of complex cloudy atmospheres.

Dieser Artikel vergleicht satellitengestützt und auf Basis von Bodenmessungen ermittelte Eigenschaften von niedrigen Wolken mit den Zielen, die Methoden auszuwerten und potenzielle Synergien zu indentifizieren. Rund um die TUC-Vergleichskampagne (International Comparison Campaign for Temperature, hUmidity and Cloud profiling) der COST-Aktion 720 werden vier Fallstudien mit verschiedenen meteorologischen Lagen detailliert untersucht. Wie gezeigt werden kann, stimmen die erfassten Parameter (Wolkenbedeckung, Flüssigwasserpfad, Wolkendicke, Wolkentemperatur) generell gut überein. Es zeigt sich allerdings, dass Satellitenretrievals des Flüssigwasserpfades und der Wolkendicke durch Heranziehung von Flüssigwassergehaltsinformationen aus Bodenmessungen verbessert werden könnten. Bodenbasierte Methoden wiederum finden in der räumlichen Komponente der Satellitendaten eine sinnvolle Ergänzung. Zusammengenommen ist auf Basis der hier präsentierten Kombination von Instrumenten und Techniken eine detaillierte Erfassung komplexer atmosphärischer Wolkensituationen möglich.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: February 1, 2006

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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