A Cloud Climatology of the Southern Great Plains ARM CART
Journal of Climate
Cloud amount statistics from three different sources were processed and compared. Surface observations from a National Centers for Environmental Prediction dataset were used. The data (Edited Cloud Report; ECR) consist of synoptic weather reports that have been edited to facilitate cloud analysis. Two stations near the Southern Great Plains (SGP) Cloud and Radiation Test Bed (CART) in north-central Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Wichita, Kansas) were selected. The ECR data span a 10-yr
... data span a 10-yr period from December 1981 to November 1991. The International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) provided cloud amounts over the SGP CART for an 8-yr period . Cloud amounts were also obtained from Micro Pulse Lidar (MPL) and Belfort Ceilometer (BLC) cloud-base height measurements made at the SGP CART over a 1-yr period. The annual and diurnal cycles of cloud amount as a function of cloud height and type were analyzed. The three datasets closely agree for total cloud amount. Good agreement was found in the ECR and MPL-BLC monthly low cloud amounts. With the exception of summer and midday in other seasons, the ISCCP low cloud amount estimates are generally 5%-10% less than the others. The ECR high cloud amount estimates are typically 10%-15% greater than those obtained from either the ISCCP or MPL-BLC datasets. The observed diurnal variations of altocumulus support the authors' model results of radiatively induced circulations.