Cloud Occurrence Measurements Over Sea during the 2nd 7 Southeast Asian Studies (7SEAS) Field Campaign in Palawan Archipelago

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Carlo Ting Antioquia1, Sherdon Niño Uy2, Kevin Caballa2 and Nofel Lagrosas3, (1)Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, Philippines, (2)Manila Observatory, Quezon City, Philippines, (3)Ateneo de Manila University, Manila Observatory, Quezon City, Philippines
Ground based sky imaging cameras have been used to measure cloud cover over an area to aid in radiation budget models. During daytime, certain clouds tend to help decrease atmospheric temperature by obstructing sunrays in the atmosphere. Thus, the detection of clouds plays an important role in the formulation of radiation budget in the atmosphere. In this study, a wide angled sky imager (GoPro Hero 2) was brought on board M/Y Vasco to detect and quantity cloud occurrence over sea during the 2nd 7SEAS field campaign. The camera is just a part of a number of scientific instruments used to measure weather, aerosol chemistry and solar radiation among others. The data collection started during the departure from Manila Bay on 05 September 2012 and went on until the end of the cruise (29 September 2012). The camera was placed in a weather-proof box that is then affixed on a steel mast where other instruments are also attached during the cruise. The data has a temporal resolution of 1 minute, and each image is 500x666 pixels in size. Fig. 1a shows the track of the ship during the cruise. The red, blue, hue, saturation, and value of the pixels are analysed for cloud occurrence. A pixel is considered to “contain” thick cloud if it passes all four threshold parameters (R-B, R/B, R-B/R+B, HSV; R is the red pixel color value, blue is the blue pixel color value, and HSV is the hue saturation value of the pixel) and considered thin cloud if it passes two or three parameters. Fig. 1b shows the daily analysis of cloud occurrence. Cloud occurrence here is quantified as the ratio of the pixels with cloud to the total number of pixels in the data image. The average cloud cover for the days included in this dataset is 87%. These measurements show a big contrast when compared to cloud cover over land (Manila Observatory) which is usually around 67%. During the duration of the cruise, only one day (September 6) has an average cloud occurrence below 50%; the rest of the days have averages of 66% or higher – 98% being the highest. This result would then give a general trend of how cloud occurrences over land and over sea differ in the South East Asian region. In this study, these cloud occurrences come from local convection and clouds brought about by Southwest Monsoon winds.