Unusually Deep Wintertime Cirrus Clouds Observed over the Alaskan Subarctic
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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Unusually deep wintertime cirrus clouds at altitudes exceeding 13.0 km above mean sea level MSL were observed at Fairbanks, Alaska64.86N, 147.85W, 0.300 km MSL, over a 12-h period beginning near 1200 UTC 1 January 2017. Such elevated cirrus cloud heights are far more typical of warmer latitudes and, in many instances, associated with convective outflow, as opposed to early winter over the subarctic on a day featuring barely 4 h of local sunlight. In any other context, they could have been confused for polar stratospheric clouds, which are a more common regionalseasonal occurrence approaching such elevated heights. The mechanics of this unique event are documented, including the thermodynamic and synoptic environments that nurtured and sustained cloud formation.