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Comparative Liquid Water Content Measurements of Conventional Instruments with an Optical Array Spectrometer

Robert G. KnollenbergDept. of the Geophysical Sciences, The University of Chicago 60637

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Abstract

A comparison study is made of liquid water content measurements using conventional devices with those integrated from optically measured drop size distributions. In clouds of low to medium droplet size (<30 μ diameter) the liquid water content from a conventional hot wire device was found to be in excellent agreement with that determined with an optical array particle size spectrometer. In populations containing more mature cloud droplets the integrated liquid water content from the spectrometer data is consistently higher. This is attributed to underestimates of larger droplet masses by the hot wire device. In low populations the spectrometer is shown to provide adequate liquid water content information while the hot wire device is limited by its signal-to-noise ratio.

Liquid water content comparisons with the paper tape device show less signature correlation and questionable agreement in absolute value.

The lack of high resolution in drop size measurements is shown to be of less importance in liquid water content determination than an adequate sample number.

Abstract

A comparison study is made of liquid water content measurements using conventional devices with those integrated from optically measured drop size distributions. In clouds of low to medium droplet size (<30 μ diameter) the liquid water content from a conventional hot wire device was found to be in excellent agreement with that determined with an optical array particle size spectrometer. In populations containing more mature cloud droplets the integrated liquid water content from the spectrometer data is consistently higher. This is attributed to underestimates of larger droplet masses by the hot wire device. In low populations the spectrometer is shown to provide adequate liquid water content information while the hot wire device is limited by its signal-to-noise ratio.

Liquid water content comparisons with the paper tape device show less signature correlation and questionable agreement in absolute value.

The lack of high resolution in drop size measurements is shown to be of less importance in liquid water content determination than an adequate sample number.

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