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Dynamical Influences on Cirrus Cloud Formation Process

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  • 1 Atmospheric Environment Service, Downsview, Ontario, Canada
  • | 2 Department of Meteorology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • | 3 National Centre for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado
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Abstract

An air parcel model has been used to study dynamic influences on cirrus cloud microphysical processes. Representative data selected from a measurement campaign carried out over southern Germany during March 1994 were used for a base-case model run where a modeled air parcel moved in a wave trajectory with a period similar to the measured Brunt–Väisälä frequency and an amplitude of about 30 m. Six case studies were performed for this paper. In each case, ice crystal nucleation processes were examined as an air parcel moved with trajectories having different wave forms. A random walk trajectory simulating turbulence with turbulent structure was also considered. The relationships between the parameters in the air parcel trajectories and crystal microphysical properties are discussed. Simulation results show that after two wave cycles, the model-produced crystal spectra are usually narrower than typical measurement data;however, broader spectra can be produced for certain types of trajectories. The broadness of crystal spectra is closely related to the air parcel’s initial position in the wave trajectory. It is not necessary to invoke entrainment to produce a broad crystal spectrum.

Corresponding author address: D. Hong Lin, Atmospheric Environment Service, ARMP 4905 Dufferin Street Downsview, ON M3H 5T4, Canada.

Email: lin@armph3.tor.ec.gc.ca

Abstract

An air parcel model has been used to study dynamic influences on cirrus cloud microphysical processes. Representative data selected from a measurement campaign carried out over southern Germany during March 1994 were used for a base-case model run where a modeled air parcel moved in a wave trajectory with a period similar to the measured Brunt–Väisälä frequency and an amplitude of about 30 m. Six case studies were performed for this paper. In each case, ice crystal nucleation processes were examined as an air parcel moved with trajectories having different wave forms. A random walk trajectory simulating turbulence with turbulent structure was also considered. The relationships between the parameters in the air parcel trajectories and crystal microphysical properties are discussed. Simulation results show that after two wave cycles, the model-produced crystal spectra are usually narrower than typical measurement data;however, broader spectra can be produced for certain types of trajectories. The broadness of crystal spectra is closely related to the air parcel’s initial position in the wave trajectory. It is not necessary to invoke entrainment to produce a broad crystal spectrum.

Corresponding author address: D. Hong Lin, Atmospheric Environment Service, ARMP 4905 Dufferin Street Downsview, ON M3H 5T4, Canada.

Email: lin@armph3.tor.ec.gc.ca

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