13 Oct 2021
13 Oct 2021
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Temporal and vertical distributions of the occurrence of the cirrus clouds over the coastal station in the Indian monsoon region

Saleem Ali, Sanjay Mehta, Aravindhavel Ananthavel, and T. V. Ramesh Reddy Saleem Ali et al.
  • Atmospheric Observations and Modelling Laboratory, Research Institute, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur, 603203, Tamil Nadu, India

Abstract. Knowledge of the spatiotemporal coverage of the cirrus clouds is vital in quantifying the radiation budget of the earth-atmosphere system. In this paper, we present the diurnal and vertical distributions of the occurrence of the cirrus clouds during different seasons as well as its interannual variation over Kattankulathur (12.82° N, 80.04° E), east coast of the Bay of Bengal. The long-term (2016–2018) continuous observations of micropulse lidar (MPL) demonstrate the laminar and descending cirrus clouds that occur either as single or multiple layers. The single-layer cirrus occurrence shows a diurnal pattern with frequent occurrence in the late evening (~30–40 %) while multiple-layer cirrus clouds occurrence and early morning (~10–20 %), respectively. For the diurnal pattern in single layer cirrus cloud occurrences, convective processes dominate during the pre-monsoon, southwest (SW), and northeast (NE) monsoon seasons, while the freeze-drying process is favourable during the winter season. However, both convective and freeze-drying processes are dominant in the diurnal pattern of the multiple-layer cirrus occurrences. The occurrence is maximum (~40 %) during the SW and NE monsoon seasons and minimum (~25 %) during the winter. The vertical distributions indicate that the maximum occurrence is confined within the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) during all the seasons. The cirrus cloud rarely occurs above the tropopause; however, it frequently occurs below the TTL during all the seasons. The vertical extent of the occurrence has broader altitude coverage (~8–17 km) during December–March and June–September while narrower during April–May (~10–17 km) and October–November (~9–15 km). The cirrus clouds occurrence also exhibits interannual variations with higher occurrence during 2016 compared to 2017 and 2018 in association with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).

Saleem Ali et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2021-798', Anonymous Referee #1, 11 Nov 2021
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Sanjay Kumar Mehta, 30 Dec 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2021-798', Artem Feofilov, 07 Mar 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Sanjay Kumar Mehta, 05 Apr 2022

Saleem Ali et al.


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Short summary
Multiple cirrus clouds frequently occur over the regions of deep convection in the tropics. The tropical convection has a strong diurnal pattern with peaks in the afternoon to early evening over the continents. Continuous observations of micropulse lidar over a coastal station in the Indian monsoon region enable us to demonstrate a robust diurnal pattern of the single and multiple cirrus occurrences with peaks during the late afternoon and early morning hours respectively, for the first time.