Observations of cirrus and altocumulus clouds during the First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Regional Experiment (FIRE) are compared to theoretical models of cloud radiative properties. Three tests are performed. First, LANDSAT radiances are used to compare the relationship between nadir reflectance ot 0.83 micron and beam emittance at 11.5 microns with that predicted for model calculations using spherical and nonspherical phase functions. Good agreement is found between observations and theory when water droplets dominate. Poor agreement is found when ice particles dominate, especially using scattering phase functions for spherical particles. Even when compared to a laboratory measured ice particle phase function, the observations show increased side scattered radiation relative to the theoretical calculations. Second, the anisotropy of conservatively scattered radiation is examined using simultaneous multiple angle views of the cirrus from LANDSAT and ER-2 aircraft radiometers. Observed anisotropy gives good agreement with theoretical calculations using the laboratory measured ice particle phase function and poor agreement with a spherical particle phase function. Third, Landsat radiances at 0.83, 1.65, and 2.21 microns are used to infer particle phase and particle size. For water droplets, good agreement is found with King Air FSSP particle probe measurements in the cloud. For ice particles, the LANDSAT radiance observations predict an effective radius of 60 microns versus aircraft observations of about 200 microns. It is suggested that this descrepancy may be explained by uncertainty in the imaginary index of ice and by inadequate measurements of small ice particles by microphysical probes.
METEOROLOGY AND CLIMATOLOGY