A Summary of the Physical Properties of Cirrus Clouds

David R. Dowling University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Lawrence F. Radke University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Abstract

A review of existing literature is made to determine typical values for the physical properties cirrus clouds. The properties examined (with typical values and measured ranges) are cloud-center altitude (9 km, 4 to 20 km), cloud thickness (1.5 km, 0.1 to 8 km), crystal number density (30 L−1, 10−4 to 10−4 L−1), condensed water content (0.025 g m −3, 10−4 to 1.2 g m −3), and crystal size (250 μm, 1 to 8000 μm). A typical crystal size distribution is also reported.

Abstract

A review of existing literature is made to determine typical values for the physical properties cirrus clouds. The properties examined (with typical values and measured ranges) are cloud-center altitude (9 km, 4 to 20 km), cloud thickness (1.5 km, 0.1 to 8 km), crystal number density (30 L−1, 10−4 to 10−4 L−1), condensed water content (0.025 g m −3, 10−4 to 1.2 g m −3), and crystal size (250 μm, 1 to 8000 μm). A typical crystal size distribution is also reported.

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