Cirrus cloud diagnosis using numerical weather prediction model and a comparison with observations

Alex Mahalov, R. Lefevre, S. Cocks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Cirrus clouds in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) can impact the efficiency and effectiveness of infrared directed energy (laser) applications, including laser communications systems, due to attenuation (absorption and scattering) of energy. The accurate prediction of cirrus clouds, including subvisual cirrus, is often difficult for operational numerical weather prediction (NWP) models because the models require high resolution and advanced cloud microphysics schemes. We solved the fully three-dimensional, moist, compressible, non-hydrostatic Navier-Stokes equations using a vertically-stretched adaptive grid nested within the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model over a geographical region of interest. We used an adaptive time-split integration scheme for the temporal discretization. We used the Thompson cloud microphysical parameterization scheme for the cirrus cloud development. The initial conditions and boundary conditions for the WRF simulations were extracted from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) T799L91 global analyses. We ran the simulation for a domain centered on the coast of Southern California and the results are compared to meteorological satellite and radiosonde observations for selected locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2009
EventAtmospheric Propagation of Electromagnetic Waves III - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 26 2009Jan 27 2009


OtherAtmospheric Propagation of Electromagnetic Waves III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Cirrus cloud diagnosis
  • High resolution simulations
  • Upper troposphere and lower stratosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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