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Statistics on clouds and their relation to thermodynamic conditions at Ny-Ålesund

Nomokonova, T., Ebell, K., Lӧhnert, U., Ritter, C. and O'Connor, E. (2019) Statistics on clouds and their relation to thermodynamic conditions at Ny-Ålesund. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 19. pp. 4105-4126. ISSN 1680-7316

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5194/acp-19-4105-2019


The French–German Arctic research base AWIPEV (the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research – AWI – and the French Polar Institute Paul Emile Victor – PEV) at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, is a unique station for monitoring cloud-related processes in the Arctic. For the first time, data from a set of ground-based instruments at the AWIPEV observatory are analyzed to characterize the vertical structure of clouds. For this study, a 14-month dataset from Cloudnet combining observations from a ceilometer, a 94 GHz cloud radar, and a microwave radiometer is used. A total cloud occurrence of ∼81 %, with 44.8 % multilayer and 36 % single-layer clouds, was found. Among single-layer clouds the occurrence of liquid, ice, and mixed-phase clouds was 6.4 %, 9 %, and 20.6 %, respectively. It was found that more than 90 % of single-layer liquid and mixed-phase clouds have liquid water path (LWP) values lower than 100 and 200 g m−2, respectively. Mean values of ice water path (IWP) for ice and mixed-phase clouds were found to be 273 and 164 g m−2, respectively. The different types of single-layer clouds are also related to in-cloud temperature and the relative humidity under which they occur. Statistics based on observations are compared to ICOsahedral Non-hydrostatic (ICON) model output. Distinct differences in liquid-phase occurrence in observations and the model at different environmental temperatures lead to higher occurrence of pure ice clouds. A lower occurrence of mixed-phase clouds in the model at temperatures between −20 and −5 ∘C becomes evident. The analyzed dataset is useful for satellite validation and model evaluation.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:84050
Publisher:Copernicus Publications


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