A Synergistic Analysis of Cloud Cover and Vertical Distribution from A-Train...

Blanchard, Y., J. Pelon, E. W. Eloranta, K. P. Moran, J. Delanoë, and G. Sèze (2014), A Synergistic Analysis of Cloud Cover and Vertical Distribution from A-Train and Ground-Based Sensors over the High Arctic Station Eureka from 2006 to 2010, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 53, 2553-2570, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-14-0021.1.

Active remote sensing instruments such as lidar and radar allow one to accurately detect the presence of clouds and give information on their vertical structure and phase. To better address cloud radiative impact over the Arctic area, a combined analysis based on lidar and radar ground-based and A-Train satellite measurements was carried out to evaluate the efficiency of cloud detection, as well as cloud type and vertical distribution, over the Eureka station (808N, 868W) between June 2006 and May 2010. Cloud–Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) and CloudSat data were first compared with independent ground-based cloud measurements. Seasonal and monthly trends from independent observations were found to be similar among all datasets except when compared with the weather station observations because of the large reported fraction of ice crystals suspended in the lower troposphere in winter. Further investigations focused on satellite observations that are collocated in space and time with ground-based data. Cloud fraction occurrences from ground-based instruments correlated well with both CALIPSO operational products and combined CALIPSO–CloudSat retrievals, with a hit rate of 85%. The hit rate was only 77% for CloudSat products. The misdetections were mainly attributed to 1) undetected low-level clouds as a result of sensitivity loss and 2) missed clouds because of the distance between the satellite track and the station. The spaceborne lidar–radar synergy was found to be essential to have a complete picture of the cloud vertical profile down to 2 km. Errors are quantified and discussed.

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