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Measurements of Ultragiant Aerosol Particles in the Atmosphere from the Small Cumulus Microphysics Study

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  • 1 Department of Physics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico
  • | 2 National Center for Atmospheric Research,* Boulder, Colorado
  • | 3 Department of Physics, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, New Mexico
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Abstract

Ultragiant aerosol particles (UGA) are potentially important for warm rain formation because of their ability to initiate coalescence immediately upon entering a cloud, so it is desirable to obtain local estimates during any field campaign that studies warm rain. Estimates of UGA in clear air from a one-dimensional optical array probe averaged over long time periods from the Small Cumulus Microphysics Study have been published in the literature, but further analysis and comparisons to other probes, presented here, show that the data on which these estimates were based were probably contaminated by noise. A possible explanation for the noise in the probe is given, as are new upper limits, based on few or no particles detected by a two-dimensional optical array probe.

Current affiliation: School of the Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Corresponding author address: Dr. Sonia G. Lasher-Trapp, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. Email: slasher@ucar.edu

Abstract

Ultragiant aerosol particles (UGA) are potentially important for warm rain formation because of their ability to initiate coalescence immediately upon entering a cloud, so it is desirable to obtain local estimates during any field campaign that studies warm rain. Estimates of UGA in clear air from a one-dimensional optical array probe averaged over long time periods from the Small Cumulus Microphysics Study have been published in the literature, but further analysis and comparisons to other probes, presented here, show that the data on which these estimates were based were probably contaminated by noise. A possible explanation for the noise in the probe is given, as are new upper limits, based on few or no particles detected by a two-dimensional optical array probe.

Current affiliation: School of the Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom

Corresponding author address: Dr. Sonia G. Lasher-Trapp, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000. Email: slasher@ucar.edu

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