Empirical Relationships for Estimating Liquid Water Fraction of Melting Snowflakes

Ryohei Misumi National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Tsukuba, Japan

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Hiroki Motoyoshi Snow and Ice Research Center, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Nagaoka, Japan

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Satoru Yamaguchi Snow and Ice Research Center, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Nagaoka, Japan

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Sento Nakai Snow and Ice Research Center, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Nagaoka, Japan

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Masaaki Ishizaka Snow and Ice Research Center, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Nagaoka, Japan

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Yasushi Fujiyoshi Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

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Abstract

The liquid water fraction of individual snowflakes f is an important parameter when calculating the radar reflectivity of a melting layer. A ground-based observation of f at Nagaoka, Japan, was conducted by using dye-treated filter papers that were kept at a temperature of 0°C. From the results of these measurements, which consisted of 6179 particles taken with 44 sheets of filter paper, two empirical relationships are proposed. The first is a relationship between the ratio of liquid water flux to total precipitation intensity (FL; taking values from 0 to 1) and meteorological surface data. The second is a relationship to estimate f using the melted diameter of a snowflake, median mass diameter, and FL. It was determined that the root-mean-square errors for estimating FL and f by using these relationships were 0.160 and 0.144, respectively. It was also found that the ratio of raindrop flux to the total precipitation intensity FR was always below 0.1 when FL was less than 0.6 but increased rapidly when FL exceeded 0.8.

Corresponding author address: Ryohei Misumi, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, 3-1 Tennodai, Tsukba 305-0006, Japan. E-mail: misumi@bosai.go.jp

Abstract

The liquid water fraction of individual snowflakes f is an important parameter when calculating the radar reflectivity of a melting layer. A ground-based observation of f at Nagaoka, Japan, was conducted by using dye-treated filter papers that were kept at a temperature of 0°C. From the results of these measurements, which consisted of 6179 particles taken with 44 sheets of filter paper, two empirical relationships are proposed. The first is a relationship between the ratio of liquid water flux to total precipitation intensity (FL; taking values from 0 to 1) and meteorological surface data. The second is a relationship to estimate f using the melted diameter of a snowflake, median mass diameter, and FL. It was determined that the root-mean-square errors for estimating FL and f by using these relationships were 0.160 and 0.144, respectively. It was also found that the ratio of raindrop flux to the total precipitation intensity FR was always below 0.1 when FL was less than 0.6 but increased rapidly when FL exceeded 0.8.

Corresponding author address: Ryohei Misumi, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, 3-1 Tennodai, Tsukba 305-0006, Japan. E-mail: misumi@bosai.go.jp
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