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The challenge of modeling and observing low-level cloudiness in the West African monsoon region

Knippertz, P. ORCID iD icon; Fink, A. H.; Redl, R.; Linden, R. van der; Hannak, L.

Abstract (englisch):

The challenge of modeling low-level cloudiness in the West African monsoon region
The southern parts of West Africa are frequently covered by an extensive deck of shallow, low (200–400m above ground) stratus or stratocumulus clouds during the summer monsoon season. Climatologically, the ultra-low stratus decks form after sunset along the Guinea coast, spread inland and reach about 10-11°N between 0900 and 1000 UTC of the following day. In the late morning the northern boundary gets fragmented due to the breakup of stratus decks into fair-weather cumuli. A thorough validation of weather and climate models with respect to this process is challenging due to a lack of local observations and a misrepresentation of ultra-low cloud decks in most satellite products. Nevertheless it could be shown that Coupled Model Intercomparison Project 3 (CMIP3) global climate models largely failed to represent these clouds, leading to errors in surface solar radiation of up to 90 W m−2. New results using CMIP5 and YOTC (Years of Tropical Convection) GASS (GEWEX Atmosphere System Study) global climate models show that the representation of low-level cloudiness has not improved in the latest generation of global models. ... mehr

Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Forschungsbereich Troposphäre (IMK-TRO)
KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt (ZKU)
Publikationstyp Vortrag
Publikationsjahr 2016
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator KITopen-ID: 1000065051
HGF-Programm 12.01.02 (POF III, LK 01) Proc.res.f.multisc.predictab.of weather
Veranstaltung HD(CP)2 Understanding Clouds and Precipitation, 15–19 February 2016, Berlin, Germany
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