Marine boundary layer structure and fractional cloudiness

B. A. Albrecht, M. P. Jensen, W. J. Syrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Radiosonde data collected during the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment (FIRE), 1987, the Atlantic Stratocumulus Transition Experiment (ASTEX), 1992, and the Tropical Instability and Waves Experiment (TIWE), 1990, were used to develop four composite thermodynamic soundings of the marine boundary layer for cloud conditions ranging from solid stratocumulus to trade cumulus and sea surface temperatures ranging from 16 degrees to 27 degrees C. Average cloud fraction and cloud base height for the composite soundings were estimated using laser ceilometers located at each of the four sites. The effect of cloud top entrainment on fractional cloudiness was evaluated. For the four composite soundings the fractional cloudiness decreases as the slope of the normalized w-theta mixing line increases (greater instability), but this decrease is 4 times less than that from previous studies. Fractional cloudiness diagnosed from parameterizations using cloud layer relative humidity compares well with the observed mean cloudiness. (from Authors)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14+209-14+222
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberD7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Marine boundary layer structure and fractional cloudiness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this