I recently had a publication accepted into the Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres – In my paper, I discuss how individual clouds “clusters” evolve (grow, mature, and decay) over their lifetimes on global scales, thanks to long records of next-generation geostationary satellites. I found that cloud maturity was a longer, more delayed process in longer lasting storms. Over land, there tended to be a single daily maximum in clouds and storm development in the afternoon. In contrast, over the ocean, there are two peaks: one in the afternoon and also one in the early morning. Early morning clouds tended to last longer (> 6 hours) than those in the afternoon. My paper provide a big picture survey of the life cycle evolution of cloud characteristics as seen from infrared satellites, which can complement climate model simulations and enhance satellite retrieval algorithms.
The paper is online now on JGR’s website, although it’s behind a paywall until 2017. In the meantime, you can read the “comic book” edition below with a surprise morbid ending.