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Barrett, Andrew I.; Hogan, Robin J.; O'Connor, Ewan J. (2009)
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Languages: English
Types: Article
Observations of boundary-layer cloud have been made using radar and lidar at Chilbolton, Hampshire, UK. These have been compared with output from 7 different global and regional models. Fifty-five cloudy days have been composited to reveal the mean diurnal variation of cloud top and base heights, cloud thickness and liquid water path of the clouds. To enable like-for-like comparison between model and observations, the observations have been averaged on to the grid of each model. The composites show a distinct diurnal cycle in observed cloud; the cloud height exhibits a sinusoidal variation throughout the day with a maximum at around 1600 and a minimum at around 0700 UTC. This diurnal cycle is captured by six of the seven models analysed, although the models generally under-predict both cloud top and cloud base heights throughout the day. The two worst performing models in terms of cloud boundaries also have biases of around a factor of two in liquid water path; these were the only two models that did not include an explicit formulation for cloud-top entrainment.
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