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Title: MODIS comparisons with northeastern Pacific in situ stratocumulus microphysics

Here, vertical sounding measurements within stratocumuli during two aircraft field campaigns, Marine Stratus/stratocumulus Experiment (MASE) and Physics of Stratocumulus Top (POST), are used to validate Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) cloud optical thickness (COT), cloud liquid water path (LWP), and cloud effective radius (r e). In situ COT, LWP, and r e were calculated using 5 m vertically averaged droplet probe measurements of complete vertical cloud penetrations. MODIS COT, LWP, and r e 1 km pixels were averaged along these penetrations. COT comparisons in POST showed strong correlations and a near 1:1 relationship. In MASE, comparisons showed strong correlations; however, MODIS COT exceeded in situ COT, likely due to larger temporal differences between MODIS and in situ measurements. LWP comparisons between two cloud probes show good agreement for POST but not MASE, giving confidence to POST data. Both projects provided strong LWP correlations but MODIS exceeded in situ by 14–36%. MODIS in situ r e correlations were strong, but MODIS 2.1 µm r e exceeded in situ r e, which contributed to LWP bias; in POST, MODIS r e was 20–30% greater than in situ r e. Maximum in situ r e near cloud top showed comparisons nearer 1:1. Othermore » MODIS r e bands (3.7 µm and 1.6 µm) showed similar comparisons. Temporal differences between MODIS and in situ measurements, airplane speed differences, and cloud probe artifacts were likely causes of weaker MASE correlations. POST COT comparison was best for temporal differences under 20 min. POST data validate MODIS COT but it also implies a positive MODIS r e bias that propagates to LWP while still capturing variability.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Nevada System of Higher Education, Reno, NV (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
SC0009162; FG02-05ED63999
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 120; Journal Issue: 16; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; remote sensing validation; stratocumulus optical depth; stratocumulus effective radius; cloud liquid water path; northeastern Pacific stratocumulus; cloud microphysics
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1221675; OSTI ID: 1454437