Vertical Distributions of Cloud Water Content Associated with Different Cloud Types as Observed by A-Train Satellites

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Lei Huang1, Jonathan H. Jiang2, Zhien Wang3, Hui Su2, Min Deng3 and Steven T Massie4, (1)California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States, (3)University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, United States, (4)Natl Ctr Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States
This study presents a detailed global climatology of vertical distributions of cloud liquid water content (LWC), ice water content (IWC) and cloud fraction (CF) associated with 8 different cloud types, by utilizing the combined CloudSat radar and Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) lidar measurements. The geographical and seasonal variations of these cloud properties for each cloud type are also analyzed and quantified. The cloud water contents (CWC = IWC + LWC) of each cloud type are further sorted by a number of large-scale parameters obtained from co-located satellite observations to investigate how large-scale environmental conditions affect the formation and distribution of different types of clouds. This study provides useful results for many future studies, such as how aerosols interact with different types of clouds. It can also serve as a baseline observation to evaluate clouds simulated by global climate models.