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Validation of liquid cloud property retrievals from SEVIRI using ground-based observations

RA Roebeling, S Placidi, DP Donovan, HWJ Russchenberg, AJ Feijt

Partly due to aerosol effects stratocumulus clouds vary considerably in liquid water path (LWP), geometrical thickness (h) and droplet number concentration (Nc). Cloud models have been developed to simulate h and Nc using satellite retrieved cloud optical thickness () and effective radius (re) values. In this paper we examine the consistency between LWP and h values inferred from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) onboard METEOSAT-8. The use of METEOSAT-8 data means that time series of LWP and h can be validated at a 15-minute resolution, and used for examining the first indirect aerosol effect. For single-layered stratocumulus clouds the LWP and h retrievals from SEVIRI are compared to corresponding ground-based observations at two Cloudnet sites. A study on the sensitivity of the cloud model to the uncertainties in SEVIRI retrievals of  and re reveals that h and Nc simulations are only accurate for clouds with effective radii larger than 5 m. The SEVIRI and ground-based retrievals of LWP and h show very good agreement, with accuracies of about 15 g m-2 and 20 m, respectively. This agreement could only be achieved by assuming sub-adiabatic profiles of droplet concentration and liquid water path in the cloud model. The degree of adiabaticity for single-layered stratocumulus clouds could be quantified by simultaneous analysis of SEVIRI and ground-based LWP and h values, which suggests that stratocumulus clouds over North Western Europe deviate, on average, from adiabatic clouds.

Bibliografische gegevens

RA Roebeling, S Placidi, DP Donovan, HWJ Russchenberg, AJ Feijt. Validation of liquid cloud property retrievals from SEVIRI using ground-based observations
published, Geophys. Res. Lett., 2008, 35

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