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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-194
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 05 Apr 2018

Research article | 05 Apr 2018

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Cloud vertical structure over a tropical station obtained using long-term high resolution Radiosonde measurements

Nelli Narendra Reddy, Madineni Venkat Ratnam, Ghouse Basha, and Varaha Ravikiran Nelli Narendra Reddy et al.
  • National Atmospheric Research Laboratory, Department of Space, Gadanki-517112, India

Abstract. Cloud vertical structure, including top and base altitudes, thickness of cloud layers, and the vertical distribution of multi-layer clouds affects the large-scale atmosphere circulation by altering gradients in the total diabatic heating/cooling and latent heat release. In this study, long-term (11 years) observations of high vertical resolution radiosondes are used to obtain the cloud vertical structure over a tropical station, Gadanki (13.5°N, 79.2°E), India. The detected cloud layers are verified with independent observations using cloud particle sensor (CPS) sonde launched from the same station. High-level clouds account for 69.05%, 58.49%, 55.5%, and 58.6% of all clouds during pre-monsoon, monsoon, post-monsoon, and winter seasons, respectively. The average cloud base (cloud top) altitude for low-level, middle-level, high-level and deep convective clouds are 1.74km (3.16km), 3.59km (5.55km), 8.79km (10.49km), and 1.22km (11.45km), respectively. Single-layer, two-layer, and three-layer clouds account for 40.80%, 30.71%, and 19.68% of all cloud configurations, respectively. Multi-layer clouds occurred more frequently during the monsoon with 34.58%. Maximum cloud top altitude and the cloud thickness occurred during monsoon season for single-layer clouds and the uppermost layer of multiple layer cloud configurations. In multi-layer cloud configurations, diurnal variations in the thickness of upper layer clouds are larger than those of lower layer clouds. Heating/cooling in the troposphere and lower stratosphere due to these clouds layers is also investigated and found peak cooling (peak warming) below (above) the Cold Point Tropopause (CPT) altitude. The magnitude of cooling (warming) increases from single-layer to four or more-layer cloud occurrence. Further, the vertical structure of clouds is also studied with respect to the arrival date of Indian summer monsoon over Gadanki.

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Short summary
Cloud vertical structure affects the large-scale atmosphere circulation by altering gradients in the total diabatic heating/cooling and latent heat release. Detailed Cloud Vertical Structure in all the seasons including diurnal variation over Indian region is made for the first time. The detected cloud layers are verified with independent observations using cloud particle sensor sonde. Heating/cooling in the troposphere and lower stratosphere due to these clouds layers is also investigated.
Cloud vertical structure affects the large-scale atmosphere circulation by altering gradients in...
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