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maps of UARS MLS 215hPa water vapor and ISGGP High Thick Cloud Amount for season DJF maps of UARS MLS 215hPa water vapor and ISGGP High Thick Cloud Amount for season JJA
These images, prepared by Prof. Dennis Hartmann at the University of Washington, Seattle, show (top panels in each image) UARS MLS upper tropospheric water vapor (layer centered around 215 hPa atmospheric pressure) measurements made between (a) December and February from 1991 to 1993 and (b) June to August in 1992 and 1993. The MLS data were binned into 4o by 4o latitude-longitude boxes. The bottom panels show the 1983-1990 ISCCP (International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project) C1 dataset [Rossow and Schiffer, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. vol 72, pp 2-20, 1992] for fractional high thick cloud cover climatology map for (a) December to February and (b) June through August.

Although the cloud and upper tropospheric water vapor maps are for different years, the correspondence is good, as expected since convective areas occur in the same general region from year to year. The MLS maps clearly show regions where detrainment streams regularly extend from the convective (cloudy) regions. The divergence of water vapor from the tropical convective zones is important to determine because the outgoing longwave radiation, and hence the global greenhous budget, critically depend upon it.

For further discussing of these data and analyses see Read et al. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. vol. 76, 2381-2389, 1995.

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