The northward march of summer low cloudiness along the California coast

TitleThe northward march of summer low cloudiness along the California coast
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsClemesha R.ES, Gershunov A, Iacobellis S.F, Williams A.P, Cayan DR
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume43
Pagination1287-1295
Date Published2016/02
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0094-8276
Accession NumberWOS:000372056600043
Keywordsboundary-layer; circulation; climate-change; coastal california; coastal climate; coastal fog; cycle; fog; imagery; intensification; low cloud; lower-tropospheric stability; marine; pacific; sea-surface temperature; seasonal; summer; variability
Abstract

A new satellite-derived low cloud retrieval reveals rich spatial texture and coherent space-time propagation in summertime California coastal low cloudiness (CLC). Throughout the region, CLC is greatest during May-September but has considerable monthly variability within this summer season. On average, June is cloudiest along the coast of southern California and northern Baja, Mexico, while July is cloudiest along northern California's coast. Over the course of the summer, the core of peak CLC migrates northward along coastal California, reaching its northernmost extent in late July/early August, then recedes while weakening. The timing and movement of the CLC climatological structure is related to the summer evolution of lower tropospheric stability and both its component parts, sea surface temperature and potential temperature at 700hPa. The roughly coincident seasonal timing of peak CLC with peak summertime temperatures translates into the strongest heat-modulating capacity of CLC along California's north coast.

DOI10.1002/2015gl067081
Student Publication: 
No