AbstractThis paper reports on a new index for low cloud cover (LCC), the estimated cloud-top entrainment index (ECTEI), which is a modification of estimated inversion strength (EIS) and takes into account a cloud-top entrainment (CTE) criterion. Shipboard cloud observation data confirm that the index is strongly correlated with LCC. It is argued here that changes in LCC cannot be fully determined from changes in EIS only, but can be better determined from changes in both EIS and sea surface temperature (SST) based on the ECTEI. Furthermore, it is argued that various proposed predictors of LCC change, including the moist static energy vertical gradient, SST, and midlevel clouds, can be better understood from the perspective of the ECTEI.
Journal of Climate – American Meteorological Society
Published: Nov 18, 2017
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