DISTRIBUTION AND DIMENSIONS OF CLOUD COVER AT ALTITUDES ABOVE 20,000 FEET
LOCKHEED MISSILES AND SPACE CO INC SUNNYVALE CA SUNNYVALE United States
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The research described in this Final Report is directed toward finding methods of specifying the most probable distribution of cloud-top altitudes within areas where high-altitude clouds are likely to exist. During a nine-month period, three cases were studied utilizing cloud photographs from U-2 aircraft and pertinent concurrent meteorological data. The cloud photographs were analyzed by methods developed at Stanford Research Institute to determine the dimensions and distributions of clouds above 20,000 ft. Meteorological data--such as hourly cloud observations, six-hourly synoptic charts, twelve-hourly radiosonde ascents, and hourly summaries of radar echoes--were analyzed to determine the state of the atmosphere as well as time changes in atmospheric conditions related to cloud cover. Maximum cloud tops were found to penetrate the tropopause by as much as 10,000 ft and radar echo penetrations of 15,000 ft were noted in moist tropical air.