Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 4037-4055, 2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Evidences of thin cirrus clouds in the stratosphere at mid-latitudes
P. Keckhut, A. Hauchecorne, S. Bekki, A. Colette, C. David, and J. Jumelet
Service d’Aéronomie/Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace, CNRS, Verrières le Buisson, France

Abstract. This study is devoted to the possible presence of cirrus clouds in the stratosphere. Three months of lidar data collected in the south of France (44° N) for detection of stratospheric cirrus are carefully analyzed. Most of the cirrus clouds appear to be located in the troposphere below the dynamical tropopause even when the cloud top is close to the thermal tropopause. Two cirrus are found to be unambiguously located well above the local dynamical tropopause. According to high-resolution PV advection calculations, these two clouds are observed inside air masses that originate from the tropical regions and are then transported rapidly to mid-latitudes through isentropic transport. The air mass history for one case is investigated with a 3-D trajectory model. The back-plumes indicate that the air mass, moist with respect to typical stratospheric air, was transported from the subtropical troposphere to the lowermost stratosphere in 4 days before detection above France. A continuous cooling of 5–10° along the trajectory took place during its transit. This cooling could have been partly responsible for the thin cirrus layer detected.

Citation: Keckhut, P., Hauchecorne, A., Bekki, S., Colette, A., David, C., and Jumelet, J.: Evidences of thin cirrus clouds in the stratosphere at mid-latitudes, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 4037-4055, doi:10.5194/acpd-5-4037-2005, 2005.
Search ACPD
Discussion Paper
    Final Revised Paper