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Keywords:

  • cloud vertical structure;
  • satellite data

[1] CloudSat radar reflectivities are simulated in the Met Office global forecast model in a manner which is consistent with the CloudSat observations. The method is described and applied in an evaluation study of the model's performance over the period December 2006 to February 2007. The study uses both statistical and case study approaches and examines the model's simulation of cloud systems globally and in three regions of contrasting weather and cloud regimes: the tropical warm pool, the North Atlantic Ocean, and the stratocumulus region off the west coast of California. In general, the model shows a good representation of the vertical structure of clouds systems, although a lack of midlevel cloud is ubiquitous. The model shows a nondrizzling cloud mode and a clearly separated drizzling mode that is not seen in the observations, independent of the geographical region. The comparisons suggest that the intensity of drizzle is too high, confirming on a global basis what recent ground-based measurements have also shown. They also suggest that the parameterization of ice cloud fraction as a monotonic function of the grid box mean ice water content is not consistent with the observations.