The 600-800-mb minimum in tropical cloudiness observed during TOGA COARE

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Abstract

A minimum in cloud coverage occurring between 800 and 600 mb can be inferred from soundings taken within the tropical western Pacific warm pool. Surface observations of clouds and satellite-derived outgoing longwave radiation values suggest that the cloud minimum in the 600-800 mb layer occurs in all weather conditions. One explanation for the enhanced occurrence of clouds above (in the 400-600 mb layer) and their diminished occurrence within the 600-800 mb layer is a preferential cloud detrainment from convection into the more stable levels existing at pressures below 600 mb and above 800 mb. This mechanism is supported by the results of a buoyancy-sorting model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2220-2228
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Volume55
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 15 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science

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