Evaluation of the Lidar–Radar Cloud Ice Water Content Retrievals Using Collocated in Situ Measurements

Sujan Khanal University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming

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Zhien Wang University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming

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Abstract

Remote sensing and in situ measurements made during the Colorado Airborne Multiphase Cloud Study, 2010–2011 (CAMPS) with instruments aboard the University of Wyoming King Air aircraft are used to evaluate lidar–radar-retrieved cloud ice water content (IWC). The collocated remote sensing and in situ measurements provide a unique dataset for evaluation studies. Near-flight-level IWC retrieval is compared with an in situ probe: the Colorado closed-path tunable diode laser hygrometer (CLH). Statistical analysis showed that the mean radar–lidar IWC is within 26% of the mean in situ measurements for pure ice clouds and within 9% for liquid-topped mixed-phase clouds. Considering their different measurement techniques and different sample volumes, the comparison shows a statistically good agreement and is close to the measurement uncertainty of the CLH, which is around 20%. It is shown that ice cloud microphysics including ice crystal shape and orientation has a significant impact on IWC retrievals. These results indicate that the vertical profile of the retrieved lidar–radar IWC can be reliably combined with the flight-level measurements made by the in situ probes to provide a more complete picture of the cloud microphysics.

Corresponding author address: Sujan Khanal, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071. E-mail: skhanal@uwyo.edu

Abstract

Remote sensing and in situ measurements made during the Colorado Airborne Multiphase Cloud Study, 2010–2011 (CAMPS) with instruments aboard the University of Wyoming King Air aircraft are used to evaluate lidar–radar-retrieved cloud ice water content (IWC). The collocated remote sensing and in situ measurements provide a unique dataset for evaluation studies. Near-flight-level IWC retrieval is compared with an in situ probe: the Colorado closed-path tunable diode laser hygrometer (CLH). Statistical analysis showed that the mean radar–lidar IWC is within 26% of the mean in situ measurements for pure ice clouds and within 9% for liquid-topped mixed-phase clouds. Considering their different measurement techniques and different sample volumes, the comparison shows a statistically good agreement and is close to the measurement uncertainty of the CLH, which is around 20%. It is shown that ice cloud microphysics including ice crystal shape and orientation has a significant impact on IWC retrievals. These results indicate that the vertical profile of the retrieved lidar–radar IWC can be reliably combined with the flight-level measurements made by the in situ probes to provide a more complete picture of the cloud microphysics.

Corresponding author address: Sujan Khanal, Dept. of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, 1000 E. University Ave., Laramie, WY 82071. E-mail: skhanal@uwyo.edu
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