Cloud-radiation-precipitation associations over the Asian monsoon region: an observational analysis

Jiandong Li, Wei Chyung Wang, Xiquan Dong, Jiangyu Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This study uses 2001–2014 satellite observations and reanalyses to investigate the seasonal characteristics of Cloud Radiative Effects (CREs) and their associations with cloud fraction (CF) and precipitation over the Asian monsoon region (AMR) covering Eastern China (EC) and South Asia (SA). The CREs exhibit strong seasonal variations but show distinctly different relationships with CFs and precipitation over the two regions. For EC, the CREs is dominated by shortwave (SW) cooling, with an annual mean value of − 40 W m− 2 for net CRE, and peak in summer while the presence of extensive and opaque low-level clouds contributes to large Top-Of-Atmosphere (TOA) albedo (>0.5) in winter. For SA, a weak net CRE exists throughout the year due to in-phase compensation of SWCRE by longwave (LW) CRE associated with the frequent occurrence of high clouds. For the entire AMR, SWCRE strongly correlates with the dominant types of CFs, although the cloud vertical structure plays important role particularly in summer. The relationships between CREs and precipitation are stronger in SA than in EC, indicating the dominant effect of monsoon circulation in the former region. SWCRE over EC is only partly related to precipitation and shows distinctive regional variations. Further studies need to pay more attention to vertical distributions of cloud micro- and macro-physical properties, and associated precipitation systems over the AMR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3237-3255
Number of pages19
JournalClimate Dynamics
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017


  • Asian monsoon region
  • Cloud fraction
  • Cloud radiative effect
  • Precipitation
  • Seasonal variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science


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