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Title: Failure and Redemption of Multifilter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR)/Normal Incidence Multifilter Radiometer (NIMFR) Cloud Screening: Contrasting Algorithm Performance at Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) North Slope of Alaska (NSA) and Southern Great Plains (SGP) Sites

Well-known cloud-screening algorithms, which are designed to remove cloud-contaminated aerosol optical depths (AOD) from AOD measurements, have shown great performance at many middle-to-low latitude sites around the world. However, they may occasionally fail under challenging observational conditions, such as when the sun is low (near the horizon) or when optically thin clouds with small spatial inhomogeneity occur. Such conditions have been observed quite frequently at the high-latitude Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) North Slope of Alaska (NSA) sites. A slightly modified cloud-screening version of the standard algorithm is proposed here with a focus on the ARM-supported Multifilter Rotating Shadowband Radiometer (MFRSR) and Normal Incidence Multifilter Radiometer (NIMFR) data. The modified version uses approximately the same techniques as the standard algorithm, but it additionally examines the magnitude of the slant-path line of sight transmittance and eliminates points when the observed magnitude is below a specified threshold. Substantial improvement of the multi-year (1999-2012) aerosol product (AOD and its Angstrom exponent) is shown for the NSA sites when the modified version is applied. Moreover, this version reproduces the AOD product at the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site, which was originally generated by the standard cloud-screening algorithms. The proposed minor modification is easy tomore » implement and its application to existing and future cloud-screening algorithms can be particularly beneficial for challenging observational conditions.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Atmosphere, 4(3):299-314
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
cloud; screening; algorithm; MFRSR/NIMFR; climatology; aerosol; optical; Alaska