Possible mechanisms of summer cirrus clouds over the Tibetan Plateau

Zhang, Feng; Yu, Qiu-Run; Mao, Jia-Li; Dan, Chen; Wang, Yanyu; He, Qianshan; Cheng, Tiantao; Chen, Chunhong; Liu, Dongwei; Gao, Yanping

The geographical distributions of summertime cirrus with different cloud top heights above the Tibetan Plateau are investigated by using the 2012–2016 Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) data. The cirrus clouds with different cloud top heights exhibit an obvious difference in their horizontal distribution over the Tibetan Plateau (TP). The maximum occurrence for cirrus with a cloud top height less than 9 km starts over the western plateau and moves up to the northern regions when cirrus is between 9 and 12 km. Above 12 km, the maximum occurrence of cirrus retreats to the southern fringe of the plateau. Three kinds of formation mechanisms – large-scale orographic uplift, ice particle generation caused by temperature fluctuation, and remnants of overflow from deep-convective anvils – dominate the formation of cirrus at less than 9 km, between 9 and 12 km, and above 12 km, respectively.

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Zhang, Feng / Yu, Qiu-Run / Mao, Jia-Li / et al: Possible mechanisms of summer cirrus clouds over the Tibetan Plateau. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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