The cloudy nature of southern ocean preciptation

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 4:01 PM
Graeme L Stephens, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, United States and Richard Forbes, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom
Southern Ocean clouds exert a profound influence on global weather and climate. These clouds provide the mechanisms by which the hemispheric symmetry in albedo is maintained. This symmetry is fundamental to the amount of heat transported across the equator that, in turn, controls the precipitation falling from major water producing weather systems of the planet. The representation of southern ocean clouds in global models has proven to be problematic. This talk presents the observed properties of cloud and precipitation from them and contrasts these properties against those from the integrated forecast system of ECMWF. Where improvements to model processes can be realized will be highlighted.