2018 Volume 96B Pages 27-42
An algorithm for retrieving the macroscopic, physical, and optical properties of clouds from thermal infrared measurements is applied to the Himawari-8 multiband observations. A sensitivity study demonstrates that the addition of the single CO2 band of Himawari-8 is effective for the estimation of cloud top height. For validation, retrieved cloud properties are compared systematically with collocated active remote sensing counterparts with small time lags. While retrievals agree reasonably for single-layer clouds, multilayer cloud systems with optically thin upper clouds overlying lower clouds are the major source of error in the present algorithm. Validation of cloud products is critical for identifying the characteristics, advantages, and limitation of each product and should be continued in the future.
As an application example, data are analyzed for eight days in the vicinity of the New Guinea to study the diurnal cycle of the cloud system. The present cloud property analysis investigates cloud evolution through separation of different cloud types and reveals typical features of diurnal cycles related to the topography. Over land, middle clouds increase from 0900 to 1200 local solar time (LST), deep convective clouds develop rapidly during 1200-1700 LST with a subsequent increase in cirrus and cirrostratus cloud amounts. Over the ocean near coastlines, a broad peak of convective cloud fraction is seen in the early morning. The present study demonstrates the utility of frequent observations by Himawari-8 for life cycle study of cloud systems, owing to the ability to capture their continuous temporal variations.