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Title: Low-cloud characteristics over the tropical western Pacific from ARM observations and CAM5 simulations

Here, this study evaluates the ability of the Community Atmospheric Model version 5 (CAM5) to reproduce low clouds observed by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) cloud radar at Manus Island of the tropical western Pacific during the Years of Tropical Convection. Here low clouds are defined as clouds with their tops below the freezing level and bases within the boundary layer. Low-cloud statistics in CAM5 simulations and ARM observations are compared in terms of their general occurrence, mean vertical profiles, fraction of precipitating versus nonprecipitating events, diurnal cycle, and monthly time series. Other types of clouds are included to put the comparison in a broader context. The comparison shows that the model overproduces total clouds and their precipitation fraction but underestimates low clouds in general. The model, however, produces excessive low clouds in a thin layer between 954 and 930 hPa, which coincides with excessive humidity near the top of the mixed layer. This suggests that the erroneously excessive low clouds stem from parameterization of both cloud and turbulence mixing. The model also fails to produce the observed diurnal cycle in low clouds, not exclusively due to the model coarse grid spacing that does not resolve Manus Island. Lastly, thismore » study demonstrates the utility of ARM long-term cloud observations in the tropical western Pacific in verifying low clouds simulated by global climate models, illustrates issues of using ARM observations in model validation, and provides an example of severe model biases in producing observed low clouds in the tropical western Pacific.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. University of Miami, FL (United States). Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Atmospheric, Earth and Energy Division
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344; SC0006808
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 120; Journal Issue: 17; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: