Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Cora Randall

Second Advisor

Dr. Lynn Harvey

Third Advisor

Dale Miller


This paper examines to what extent polar mesospheric clouds are dependent on temperature and water vapor. The most recent versions of Cloud Imaging and Particle Size instrument (CIPS) v5.10 and Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) v4.2 Northern Hemisphere 2007 and 2011 data are used to analyze clouds in a lower latitude bin than has previously been researched (50˚N-65˚N). In each season, this data is compared to results from a higher latitude bin (75˚N-80˚N) in order to assess the applicability of low latitude results to high latitude clouds, and vice versa. This study finds that though temperature does seem to be the greatest driver of cloud frequency in both latitude bins, the strength of this anti-correlation varies across and between the seasons and latitudes.