skip to main content
DOE PAGES title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Characteristics of Optically Thin Coastal Florida Cumuli Derived From Surface-Based Lidar Measurements

Abstract

The optical depths and sizes of optically thin passive shallow cumuli are characterized with a micropulse lidar. The measurements are from a coastal south Florida location spanning a 10-week synoptically suppressed winter time period with almost no upper-level clouds present. Clouds are distinguished from aerosol through visual comparison to zenith-viewing time-lapse camera images, establishing an instrument-specific particle backscatter coefficient threshold. Sun photometers provide a continuous independent aerosol optical depth estimate applied within the lidar retrieval of cloud optical depth. The focus is on clouds that do not attenuate the lidar signal. Clouds with optical depths less than one constitute more than 13% of the sampled data set, with decreasing optical depths occurring more frequently. Most of the clouds are less than 60 m thick and are located below 1 km. The optically thin regions occur most frequently in individual 15-s samples, corresponding to a horizontal width of less than 100 m, with occasional stratiform segments extending up to 2 km. Many segments border optically thicker regions, but some are self-contained, reflecting small-scale humidity variations near-saturation. To our knowledge, this study is the first to apply micropulse lidar data toward characterizing these low, shallow, broken clouds, too small for robust characterizationmore » from space but whose ubiquitiousness renders them radiatively important.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of Miami, Corall Gables, FL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of Miami, FL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1539762
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1472219
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0013720; SC00137210
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 123; Journal Issue: 18; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-897X
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences

Citation Formats

Delgadillo, Rodrigo, Voss, Kenneth J., and Zuidema, Paquita. Characteristics of Optically Thin Coastal Florida Cumuli Derived From Surface-Based Lidar Measurements. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1029/2018jd028867.
Delgadillo, Rodrigo, Voss, Kenneth J., & Zuidema, Paquita. Characteristics of Optically Thin Coastal Florida Cumuli Derived From Surface-Based Lidar Measurements. United States. doi:10.1029/2018jd028867.
Delgadillo, Rodrigo, Voss, Kenneth J., and Zuidema, Paquita. Thu . "Characteristics of Optically Thin Coastal Florida Cumuli Derived From Surface-Based Lidar Measurements". United States. doi:10.1029/2018jd028867. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1539762.
@article{osti_1539762,
title = {Characteristics of Optically Thin Coastal Florida Cumuli Derived From Surface-Based Lidar Measurements},
author = {Delgadillo, Rodrigo and Voss, Kenneth J. and Zuidema, Paquita},
abstractNote = {The optical depths and sizes of optically thin passive shallow cumuli are characterized with a micropulse lidar. The measurements are from a coastal south Florida location spanning a 10-week synoptically suppressed winter time period with almost no upper-level clouds present. Clouds are distinguished from aerosol through visual comparison to zenith-viewing time-lapse camera images, establishing an instrument-specific particle backscatter coefficient threshold. Sun photometers provide a continuous independent aerosol optical depth estimate applied within the lidar retrieval of cloud optical depth. The focus is on clouds that do not attenuate the lidar signal. Clouds with optical depths less than one constitute more than 13% of the sampled data set, with decreasing optical depths occurring more frequently. Most of the clouds are less than 60 m thick and are located below 1 km. The optically thin regions occur most frequently in individual 15-s samples, corresponding to a horizontal width of less than 100 m, with occasional stratiform segments extending up to 2 km. Many segments border optically thicker regions, but some are self-contained, reflecting small-scale humidity variations near-saturation. To our knowledge, this study is the first to apply micropulse lidar data toward characterizing these low, shallow, broken clouds, too small for robust characterization from space but whose ubiquitiousness renders them radiatively important.},
doi = {10.1029/2018jd028867},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres},
number = 18,
volume = 123,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {9}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 2 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Save / Share:

Works referenced in this record:

Marine boundary layer clouds at the heart of tropical cloud feedback uncertainties in climate models
journal, January 2005


Size Statistics of Cumulus Cloud Populations in Large-Eddy Simulations
journal, April 2003


Vertical distribution of clouds over Hampton, Virginia observed by lidar under the ECLIPS and FIRE ETO programs
journal, June 1994


Aerosol effects on the inter-cloud region of a small cumulus cloud field
journal, January 2009

  • Koren, Ilan; Feingold, Graham; Jiang, Hongli
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1029/2009GL037424

Cloud top height comparisons from ASTER, MISR, and MODIS for trade wind cumuli
journal, March 2007

  • Genkova, Iliana; Seiz, Gabriela; Zuidema, Paquita
  • Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 107, Issue 1-2
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2006.07.021

Significance of multiple scattering from tropospheric aerosols for ground-based backscatter lidar measurements
journal, January 1999

  • Ackermann, Jörg; Völger, Peter; Wiegner, Matthias
  • Applied Optics, Vol. 38, Issue 24
  • DOI: 10.1364/AO.38.005195

Observed and modeled patterns of covariability between low-level cloudiness and the structure of the trade-wind layer: PATTERNS OF COVARIABILITY
journal, November 2015

  • Nuijens, Louise; Medeiros, Brian; Sandu, Irina
  • Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, Vol. 7, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1002/2015MS000483

Tropical forecasting at ECMWF: The influence of physical parametrization on the mean structure of forecasts and analyses
journal, April 1988

  • Tiedtke, M.; Heckley, W. A.; Slingo, J.
  • Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Vol. 114, Issue 481
  • DOI: 10.1002/qj.49711448106

Cloud fraction errors for trade wind cumuli from EOS-Terra instruments
journal, January 2006

  • Zhao, Guangyu; Di Girolamo, Larry
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, Issue 20
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027088

Light scattering in planetary atmospheres
journal, October 1974

  • Hansen, James E.; Travis, Larry D.
  • Space Science Reviews, Vol. 16, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1007/BF00168069

Overview of MPLNET Version 3 Cloud Detection
journal, October 2016

  • Lewis, Jasper R.; Campbell, James R.; Welton, Ellsworth J.
  • Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 33, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-15-0190.1

The ‘too few, too bright’ tropical low-cloud problem in CMIP5 models: TOO FEW TOO BRIGHT LOW-CLOUDS
journal, November 2012

  • Nam, C.; Bony, S.; Dufresne, J. -L.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 39, Issue 21
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012GL053421

Statistics on the macrophysical properties of trade wind cumuli over the tropical western Atlantic: MACROPHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF CUMULI
journal, May 2007

  • Zhao, Guangyu; Di Girolamo, Larry
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 112, Issue D10
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006JD007371

Low-latitude boundary layer clouds as seen by CALIPSO
journal, January 2010

  • Medeiros, Brian; Nuijens, Louise; Antoniazzi, Chiara
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, Issue D23
  • DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014437

Ultraclean Layers and Optically Thin Clouds in the Stratocumulus-to-Cumulus Transition. Part I: Observations
journal, May 2018

  • Wood, Robert; O., Kuan-Ting; Bretherton, Christopher S.
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 75, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-17-0213.1

On the validity of the independent pixel approximation for boundary layer clouds observed during ASTEX
journal, March 1998

  • Zuidema, Paquita; Evans, K. Franklin
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 103, Issue D6
  • DOI: 10.1029/98JD00080

On the determination of cloud cover from satellite sensors: The effect of sensor spatial resolution
journal, January 1992

  • Wielicki, Bruce A.; Parker, Lindsay
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 97, Issue D12
  • DOI: 10.1029/92JD01061

An Observational Study of the Evolution of Horizontal Convective Rolls
journal, September 1999


Shortwave Radiative Impacts from Aerosol Effects on Marine Shallow Cumuli
journal, June 2008

  • Zuidema, Paquita; Xue, Huiwen; Feingold, Graham
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 65, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1175/2007JAS2447.1

AERONET—A Federated Instrument Network and Data Archive for Aerosol Characterization
journal, October 1998


The distribution and variability of low-level cloud in the North Atlantic trades: Distribution and Variability of Low-level Cloud in the Trades
journal, February 2014

  • Nuijens, L.; Serikov, I.; Hirsch, L.
  • Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Vol. 140, Issue 684
  • DOI: 10.1002/qj.2307

Relationship between column aerosol optical thickness and in situ ground based dust concentrations over Barbados
journal, June 2000

  • Smirnov, A.; Holben, B. N.; Savoie, D.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 27, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999GL011336

Observation of the spectrally invariant properties of clouds in cloudy-to-clear transition zones during the MAGIC field campaign
journal, December 2016


Methods for Estimating 2D Cloud Size Distributions from 1D Observations
journal, October 2017

  • Romps, David M.; Vogelmann, Andrew M.
  • Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 74, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1175/JAS-D-17-0105.1

Full-Time, Eye-Safe Cloud and Aerosol Lidar Observation at Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program Sites: Instruments and Data Processing
journal, April 2002


Cloud Signals from Lidar and Rotating Beam Ceilometer Compared with Pilot Ceiling
journal, September 1986


Size Distributions and Dynamical Properties of Shallow Cumulus Clouds from Aircraft Observations and Satellite Data
journal, August 2003


Physical interpretation of the spectral radiative signature in the transition zone between cloud-free and cloudy regions
journal, January 2009

  • Chiu, J. C.; Marshak, A.; Knyazikhin, Y.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 9, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-9-1419-2009

Automated Retrieval of Cloud and Aerosol Properties from the ARM Raman Lidar. Part I: Feature Detection
journal, November 2015

  • Thorsen, Tyler J.; Fu, Qiang; Newsom, Rob K.
  • Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 32, Issue 11
  • DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-14-00150.1

On the twilight zone between clouds and aerosols: CLOUDS TWILIGHT ZONE
journal, April 2007

  • Koren, Ilan; Remer, Lorraine A.; Kaufman, Yoram J.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 8
  • DOI: 10.1029/2007GL029253

Cloud Type and Macrophysical Property Retrieval Using Multiple Remote Sensors
journal, October 2001


Fully Automated Detection of Cloud and Aerosol Layers in the CALIPSO Lidar Measurements
journal, October 2009

  • Vaughan, Mark A.; Powell, Kathleen A.; Winker, David M.
  • Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 26, Issue 10
  • DOI: 10.1175/2009JTECHA1228.1

Practical model for the calculation of multiply scattered lidar returns
journal, January 1998


How well do state-of-the-art techniques measuring the vertical profile of tropospheric aerosol extinction compare?
journal, January 2006

  • Schmid, B.; Ferrare, R.; Flynn, C.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 111, Issue D5
  • DOI: 10.1029/2005JD005837

Aircraft millimeter-wave passive sensing of cloud liquid water and water vapor during VOCALS-REx
journal, January 2012

  • Zuidema, P.; Leon, D.; Pazmany, A.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 12, Issue 1
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-12-355-2012

On transition-zone water clouds
journal, January 2014


Elevated Cloud and Aerosol Layer Retrievals from Micropulse Lidar Signal Profiles
journal, May 2008

  • Campbell, James R.; Sassen, Kenneth; Welton, Ellsworth J.
  • Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Vol. 25, Issue 5
  • DOI: 10.1175/2007JTECHA1034.1

On the climate forcing consequences of the albedo continuum between cloudy and clear air
journal, January 2007

  • Charlson, Robert J.; Ackerman, Andrew S.; Bender, Frida A. -M.
  • Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, Vol. 59, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0889.2007.00297.x

On the nature and extent of optically thin marine low clouds: OPTICALLY THIN MARINE LOW CLOUDS
journal, November 2012

  • Leahy, L. V.; Wood, R.; Charlson, R. J.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 117, Issue D22
  • DOI: 10.1029/2012JD017929

Enhanced aerosol backscatter adjacent to tropical trade wind clouds revealed by satellite-based lidar
journal, January 2009

  • Tackett, Jason Lucas; Di Girolamo, Larry
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 36, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.1029/2009GL039264

Analysis of atmospheric lidar observations: some comments
journal, January 1984


Micropulse Lidar Signals: Uncertainty Analysis
journal, December 2002


EUREC4A: A Field Campaign to Elucidate the Couplings Between Clouds, Convection and Circulation
journal, September 2017


Wavelength dependence of the optical depth of biomass burning, urban, and desert dust aerosols
journal, December 1999

  • Eck, T. F.; Holben, B. N.; Reid, J. S.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 104, Issue D24
  • DOI: 10.1029/1999JD900923

The interdependence of continental warm cloud properties derived from unexploited solar background signals in ground-based lidar measurements
journal, January 2014

  • Chiu, J. C.; Holmes, J. A.; Hogan, R. J.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 14, Issue 16
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-14-8389-2014

Ground-based lidar measurements of aerosols during ACE-2: instrument description, results, and comparisons with other ground-based and airborne measurements
journal, January 2000

  • Welton, Ellsworth J.; Voss, Kenneth J.; Gordon, Howard R.
  • Tellus B: Chemical and Physical Meteorology, Vol. 52, Issue 2
  • DOI: 10.3402/tellusb.v52i2.17124

A Multisensor Perspective on the Radiative Impacts of Clouds and Aerosols
journal, April 2013

  • Henderson, David S.; L’Ecuyer, Tristan; Stephens, Graeme
  • Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Vol. 52, Issue 4
  • DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-12-025.1

Spread in model climate sensitivity traced to atmospheric convective mixing
journal, January 2014

  • Sherwood, Steven C.; Bony, Sandrine; Dufresne, Jean-Louis
  • Nature, Vol. 505, Issue 7481
  • DOI: 10.1038/nature12829

Characteristics of small tropical cumulus clouds and their impact on the environment
journal, November 1998

  • Benner, Timothy C.; Curry, Judith A.
  • Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 103, Issue D22
  • DOI: 10.1029/98JD02579

The Size Distribution of Cumulus Clouds in Representative Florida Populations
journal, February 1969


How small is a small cloud?
journal, January 2008

  • Koren, I.; Oreopoulos, L.; Feingold, G.
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, Vol. 8, Issue 14
  • DOI: 10.5194/acp-8-3855-2008

The Effect of Cloud Type on Earth's Energy Balance: Global Analysis
journal, November 1992


Optical properties of shallow tropical cumuli derived from ARM ground-based remote sensing
journal, January 2007

  • McFarlane, S. A.; Grabowski, W. W.
  • Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, Issue 6
  • DOI: 10.1029/2006GL028767

The Relationship of Trade Wind Cumulus Distribution to Subcloud Layer Fluxes and Structure
journal, May 1976


Humidity variations across the edge of trade wind cumuli: Observations and dynamical implications
journal, July 2010


The micro-pulse lidar network (MPLNET)
conference, January 2003

  • Berkoff, Timothy; Welton, Ellsworth; Campbell, James
  • Frontiers in Optics
  • DOI: 10.1364/FIO.2003.MK2

    Works referencing / citing this record:

    The Tropical Atlantic Observing System
    journal, May 2019