A 25-month database of stratus cloud properties generated from ground-based measurements at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Southern Great Plains Site

Xiquan Dong, Patrick Minnis, Thomas P. Ackerman, Eugene E. Clothiaux, Gerald G. Mace, Charles N. Long, James C. Liljegren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


A 25-month database of the macrophysical, microphysical, and radiative properties of isolated and overcast low-level stratus clouds has been generated using a newly developed parameterization and surface measurements from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement central facility in Oklahoma. The database (5-min resolution) includes two parts: measurements and retrievals. The former consist of cloud base and top heights, layer-mean temperature, cloud liquid water path, and solar transmission ratio measured by a ground-based lidar/ceilometer and radar pair, radiosondes, a microwave radiometer, and a standard Eppley precision spectral pyranometer, respectively. The retrievals include the cloud-droplet effective radius and number concentration and broadband shortwave optical depth and cloud and top-of-atmosphere albedos. Stratus without any overlying mid or high-level clouds occurred most frequently during winter and least often during summer. Mean cloud-layer altitudes and geometric thicknesses were higher and greater, respectively, in summer than in winter. Both quantities are positively correlated with the cloud-layer mean temperature. Mean cloud-droplet effective radii range from 8.1 μm in winter to 9.7 μm during summer, while cloud-droplet number concentrations during winter are nearly twice those in summer. Since cloud liquid water paths are almost the same in both seasons, cloud optical depth is higher during the winter, leading to greater cloud albedos and lower cloud transmittances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1999JD901159
Pages (from-to)4529-4537
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue numberD4
StatePublished - Feb 27 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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