Re-Evaluation Of Low Cloud Amount Relationships With Lower-Tropospheric Stability And Estimated Inversion Strength
Presenter: Lauren Cutler1
Co-Author(s): Michael Brunke
Advisor(s): Dr. Xubin Zeng
1Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona
Lower-tropospheric stability (LTS) and estimated inversion strength (EIS) have a widely accepted relationship with low cloud amount and are key observational foundations for understanding and modeling low-level stratiform clouds. Using the updated surface-based and satellite cloud data, here we revisit the relationships of low cloud amount with LTS and EIS. We find that low cloud amount is not as strongly correlated with LTS as established in the past. EIS does not provide a stronger correlation with low cloud amount than LTS over all eight regions (including the midlatitudes). Further analyzing the relationships between LTS and EIS with different types of low clouds, we find that there is a strong correlation of LTS and EIS with stratocumulus only. This explains the weaker correlation of total low cloud fraction to both LTS and EIS. These results also suggest the need to re-evaluate these relationships in Earth system models.