Abstract

A technique is developed to model radiative transfer in three-dimensional natural clouds with a standard discrete ordinates finite-element method modified to evaluate cell-surface-averaged radiances. A log-least-squares-based scale transformation is used to improve the discrete phase-function model. We handle dense media by assuming constant diffuse radiances over input faces to cubic cells, allowing analytical forms for transmittance factors. Transmission equations are combined with diffuse volumetric single-scattering calculations to support evaluations of cell energy balance. Energy not accounted for volumetrically is treated with surface-based effects. Results produced show accurate flux computations at over 30 optical depths per modeled cell. Comparisons with nonuniform cloud Monte Carlo calculations show less than 1% rms error and correlations greater than 0.999 for cases in which cloud-density fluctuations are resolved.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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