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Title: Methodology to determine the coupling of continental clouds with surface and boundary layer height under cloudy conditions from lidar and meteorological data
Abstract. The states of coupling between clouds andsurface or boundary layer have been investigated much more extensively formarine stratocumulus clouds than for continental low clouds, partly due tomore complex thermodynamic structures over land. A manifestation is a lackof robust remote sensing methods to identify coupled and decoupled cloudsover land. Following the idea for determining cloud coupling over the ocean,we have generalized the concept of coupling and decoupling to low cloudsover land, based on potential temperature profiles. Furthermore, by usingample measurements from lidar and a suite of surface meteorologicalinstruments at the U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric RadiationMeasurement Program's Southern Great Plains site from 1998 to 2019, we havedeveloped a method to simultaneously retrieve the planetary boundary layer(PBL) height (PBLH) and coupled states under cloudy conditions during thedaytime. The new lidar-based method relies on the PBLH, the liftedcondensation level, and the cloud base to diagnose the cloud coupling. Thecoupled states derived from this method are highly consistent with thosederived from radiosondes. Retrieving the PBLH under cloudy conditions, whichhas been a persistent problem in lidar remote sensing, is resolved in thisstudy. Our method can lead to high-quality retrievals of the PBLH undercloudy conditions and the determination of cloud coupling states. With thenew method, we find that coupled clouds are sensitive to changes in the PBLwith a strong diurnal cycle, whereas decoupled clouds and the PBL are weaklyrelated. Since coupled and decoupled clouds have distinct features, our newmethod offers an advanced tool to separately investigate them in climatesystems.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2126098 1837811
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1453 to 1466
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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