Summer season land cover - Convective cloud associations for the Midwest U.S. "corn belt"

Andrew M. Carleton, Jimmy Adegoke, Jason Allard, David L. Arnold, David J. Travis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Human-induced land cover modifications impact the planetary boundary layer's (PBL) thermal and moisture regimes on mesoscales. We investigate the association of croplands, forest, and the crop-forest "boundary" (CFB) with convective-cloud development (timing, amount) for three target areas (TAs) in the U.S. Midwest Corn Belt, during the summer seasons (JJA) 1991-98. For each land cover, hourly satellite-retrieved albedo and cloud-top temperature values are composited for three classes of mid-tropospheric synoptic circulation. On days with the strongest anticyclonicity, there are no consistent differences in convection related to land cover type: Cloud development is regionalized and tied primarily to synoptic conditions. However, on days having weaker anticyclonicity the CFB is the dominant site of free convection, suggesting that Non-Classical Mesoscale Circulations (NCMCs) between cropped and adjacent forest areas may operate when reduced subsidence in the mid-troposphere does not effectively cap the PBL. Index terms: Land/atmosphere interactions (3322), Mesoscale meteorology (3329), Climate dynamics (1620), Anthropogenic effects (1803).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1679-1682
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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