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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2015, Article ID 853861, 8 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Cloud Base Height Derived from a Ground-Based Infrared Cloud Measurement and Two Ceilometers

College of Meteorology and Oceanography, PLA University of Science and Technology, Nanjing 211101, China

Received 13 September 2014; Revised 1 January 2015; Accepted 1 January 2015

Academic Editor: Hiroyuki Hashiguchi

Copyright © 2015 Lei Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The cloud base height (CBH) derived from the whole-sky infrared cloud-measuring system (WSIRCMS) and two ceilometers (Vaisala CL31 and CL51) from November 1, 2011, to June 12, 2012, at the Chinese Meteorological Administration (CMA) Beijing Observatory Station are analysed. Significant differences can be found by comparing the measurements of different instruments. More exactly, the cloud occurrence retrieved from CL31 is 3.8% higher than that from CL51, while WSIRCMS data shows 3.6% higher than ceilometers. More than 75.5% of the two ceilometers’ differences are within ±200 m and about 89.5% within ±500 m, while only 30.7% of the differences between WSIRCMS and ceilometers are within ±500 m and about 55.2% within ±1000 m. These differences may be caused by the measurement principles and CBH retrieval algorithm. A combination of a laser ceilometer and an infrared cloud instrument is recommended to improve the capability for determining cloud occurrence and retrieving CBHs.