MONTE CARLO CALCULATIONS OF LIGHT SCATTERING FROM CLOUDS
SOUTHWEST CENTER FOR ADVANCED STUDIES DALLAS TX
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The scattering of visible light by clouds is calculated from an efficient Monte Carlo code which follows the multiply scattered path of the photon. The single scattering phase function is obtained from the Mie theory by integration over a particle size distribution. The photons are followed through a sufficient number of collisions and reflections from the lower surface which may have any desired albedo until they make a negligible contribution to the intensity. Various variance reduction techniques were used to improve the statistics. The reflected and transmitted intensity is studied as a function of solar zenith angle, optical thickness, and surface albedo. The downward flux, cloud albedo, and mean optical path of the transmitted and reflected photons are given as a function of these same parameters. The numerous small angle scatterings of the photon in the direction of the incident beam are followed accurately and produce a greater penetration into the cloud than is obtained with a more isotropic and less realistic phase function.