Macro-physical, optical and radiative properties of tropical cirrus clouds and its temperature dependence at Gadanki (13.5° N, 79.2° E) observed by ground based lidar

DHAMAN, REJI K; SATYANARAYANA, MALLADI ; V, KRISHNAKUMAR ; MAHADEVAN PILLAI, V P ; G S, JAYESHLAL ; RAGHUNATH, K ; VENKAT RATNAM, M

Abstract

The macro-physical and optical properties of cirrus clouds and its temperature dependencies have been investigated at the National Atmospheric Research Laboratory (NARL; 13.5° N, 79.2° E), Gadanki, Andhra Pradesh, India; an inland tropical station during the period of observation January to December 2009 using a ground based pulsed monostatic lidar system data and radiosonde measurements. Based on the analysis of measurements the cirrus macrophysical properties such as occurrence height, mid cloud temperature, cloud geometrical thickness, and optical properties such as extinction coefficient, optical depth, depolarization ratio and lidar ratio have been determined. The variation of cirrus macrophysical and optical properties with mid cloud temperature have also been studied. The cirrus clouds mean height has been generally observed in the range of 9-17 km with a peak occurrence at 13-14 km. The cirrus mid cloud temperatures were in the range from -81 °C to -46 °C. The cirrus geometrical thickness ranges from 0.9-4.5 km and 56% of cirrus occurrences have thickness 1.0 -2.7 km. The monthly cirrus optical depth ranges from 0.01-0.47, but most (>80%) of the cirrus have values less than 0.1. The monthly mean cirrus extinction ranges from 2.8E-06 to 8E-05 and depolarization ratio and lidar ratio varies from 0.13 to 0.77 and 2 to 52 respectively. The temperature and thickness dependencies on cirrus optical properties have also been studied. A maximum cirrus geometrical thickness of 4.5 km is found at temperatures around – 46 °C with an indication that optical depth increases with increasing thickness and mid cloud temperature. The cloud radiative properties such as outgoing long-wave radiation (OLR) flux and cirrus IR forcing are studied. OLR flux during the cirrus occurrence days ranged from 348-456 W/m2 with a low value in the monsoon period. The cirrus IR forcing varied from 3.13 – 110.54 W/m2 and shows a peak at monsoon period.

Keyword(s)

Cirrus cloud;Lidar; Extinction;Optical depth; Depolarisation ratio; Lidar ratio

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