Graphical Abstract

Miyamoto, Y., Y. Sato, S. Nishizawa, H. Yashiro, T. Seiki, and A. T. Noda, 2020: An energy balance model for low-level clouds based on a simulation resolving mesoscale motions. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 98, 987-1004.
Early Online ReleaseGraphical Abstract with highlights

Plain Language Summary: A new energy balance model is proposed to determine the cloud fraction of low-level clouds by assuming that the horizontal cloud field consists of several individual cloud cells having a similar structure. Using a high-resolution simulation dataset with a wide numerical domain, an energy budget analysis revealed that the energy injected into the domain by surface flux is approximately balanced with the energy loss due to radiation and advection due to large-scale motion. A simple model for the cloud fraction is developed from the energy conservation equation. The cloud fraction diagnosed using the model developed in this study was able to quantitatively capture the simulated cloud fraction.