Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 13479-13505, 2008
© Author(s) 2008. This work is distributed
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Total and partial cloud amount detection during summermonths 2005 at Westerland (Sylt, Germany)
N. H. Schade1, A. Macke2, H. Sandmann1, and C. Stick1
1Institut für Medizinische Klimatologie, Hermann-Rodewald-Str. 5, 24098 Kiel, Germany
2Leibniz-Institut für Meereswissenschaften, Düsternbrooker Weg 20, 24105 Kiel, Germany

Abstract. The detection of cloudiness is investigated by means of partial and total cloud amount estimations from pyrgeometer radiation measurements and all-sky imager observations. The measurements have been performed in Westerland, a seaside resort on the North Sea island of Sylt, Germany, during summer 2005.

An improvement to previous studies on this subject results from the fact that for the first time partial cloud amount (PCA), defined as total cloud amounts without high clouds, calculations from longwave downward radiation (LDR) according to the APCADA-Algorithm (Dürr and Philipona, 2004) are validated against both human observations from the German Weather Service DWD at the nearby airport of Sylt and digital all-sky imaging.

Differences between the resulting total cloud amounts (TCA's), defined as total cloud amount for all-cloud situations, derived from the camera images and from human observations are within ±1 octa in 72% and within ±2 octa in 85% of the cases. Compared to human observations PCA measurements according to APCADA underestimate the observed cloud cover in 47% of all cases and the differences are within ±1 octa in 60% and ±2 octa in 74% of all cases. Since high cirrus clouds can not be derived from LDR, separate comparisons for all cases without high clouds have been performed showing an agreement within ±1(2) octa in 73(90)% for PCA and also for camera derived TCA. For this coastal mid-latitude site under investigation we find similar though slightly smaller agreements to human observations as reported in Dürr and Philipona (2004). Though limited to day-time the cloud cover retrievals from the sky imager are not much affected by cirrus clouds and provide a more reliable cloud climatology for all-cloud conditions than APCADA.

Citation: Schade, N. H., Macke, A., Sandmann, H., and Stick, C.: Total and partial cloud amount detection during summermonths 2005 at Westerland (Sylt, Germany), Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 8, 13479-13505, doi:10.5194/acpd-8-13479-2008, 2008.
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