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Isentropic modeling of a cirrus cloud event observed in the midlatitude upper troposphere and lower stratosphere

Nadège Montoux 1 Philippe Keckhut 1 Alain Hauchecorne 1 Julien Jumelet 1 Hélène Brogniez 2 Christine David 1
1 STRATO - LATMOS
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
2 SPACE - LATMOS
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : This publication provides a detailed study of one cirrus cloud observed by lidar at the Observatory of Haute-Provence (∼44°N) in January 2006 in the vicinity of the tropopause (12–14 km/∼136–190 hPa/328–355 K). The higher part of the air mass observed comes from the wet subtropics while the lower part comes from the midlatitudes. Both are advected by the Azores anticyclone, encounter cold temperatures (∼205 K) above the North Atlantic Ocean, and flow eastward along the anticyclonic flank of the polar jet stream. A simulation of this cloud by an isentropic model is tested to see if synoptic-scale atmospheric structures could explain by itself the presence of such clouds. The developments made in the Modélisation Isentrope du transport Méso-échelle de l'Ozone Stratosphérique par Advection (MIMOSA) model to take into account the three phases of water and their interactions allow reproduction of the occurrence of the cirrus and its temporal evolution. MIMOSA-H2O reproduces the atmospheric water vapor structures observed with Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) with, however, an apparent wet bias of around 50%. Reliable water vapor fields appear to be the main condition to correctly simulate such cirrus clouds. The model reproduces the cirrus cloud altitude for fall speeds around 1 cm/s and gives ice water content around 3–4 mg/m3. Fall speed is also a critical parameter, and a better parameterization with altitude or other atmospheric conditions in the modeling of such cirrus clouds is required. This study also shows that supersaturation threshold impacts strongly the vertical and horizontal extension of the cirrus cloud but more slightly the ice water path.
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Nadège Montoux, Philippe Keckhut, Alain Hauchecorne, Julien Jumelet, Hélène Brogniez, et al.. Isentropic modeling of a cirrus cloud event observed in the midlatitude upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2010, 115 (D2), pp.D02202. ⟨10.1029/2009JD011981⟩. ⟨hal-00448611⟩

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