A Method for Determining Cirrus Cloud Particle Sizes Using Lidar and Radar Backscatter Technique

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  • a Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado/NOAA, Boulder, Colorado
  • | b Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • | c NOAA/Environmental Research Laboratory/Wave Propagation Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

A method to determine cirrus cloud effective radii remotely using lidar and radar backscatter data is presented. The difference in backscattered returns from instruments widely separated in wavelength holds information on the characteristic sizes of the scatterers. The method compares theoretically expected backscatter coefficients to observed backscatter returns from NOAA's 3.2-cm and 8.6-mm radars and the 10.6-µm lidar. Measurements were taken during a two-phase cloud experiment held in northeastern Colorado from 6 September to 5 October 1989 and 15 February to 31 March 1991. It was found that the particle sizes estimated from the lidar-radar method agree closely with in situ aircraft measurements. Case studies are presented to demonstrate the method and the potential for multiwavelength remote sensing of cirrus cloud radiative properties.

Abstract

A method to determine cirrus cloud effective radii remotely using lidar and radar backscatter data is presented. The difference in backscattered returns from instruments widely separated in wavelength holds information on the characteristic sizes of the scatterers. The method compares theoretically expected backscatter coefficients to observed backscatter returns from NOAA's 3.2-cm and 8.6-mm radars and the 10.6-µm lidar. Measurements were taken during a two-phase cloud experiment held in northeastern Colorado from 6 September to 5 October 1989 and 15 February to 31 March 1991. It was found that the particle sizes estimated from the lidar-radar method agree closely with in situ aircraft measurements. Case studies are presented to demonstrate the method and the potential for multiwavelength remote sensing of cirrus cloud radiative properties.

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