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Analysis of Aircraft, Radiosonde, and Radar Observations in Cirrus Clouds Observed during FIRE II: The Interactions between Environmental Structure, Turbulence, and Cloud Microphysical Properties

Samantha A. SmithColumbia University, New York, New York

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Anthony D. DelGenioNASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, New York

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Abstract

Ways to determine the turbulence intensity and the horizontal variability in cirrus clouds have been investigated using First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment II aircraft, radiosonde, and radar data. Higher turbulence intensities were found within some, but not all, of the neutrally stratified layers. It was also demonstrated that the stability of cirrus layers with high extinction values decreases in time, possibly as a result of radiative destabilization. However, these features could not be directly related to each other in any simple manner. A simple linear relationship was observed between the amount of horizontal variability in the ice water content and its average value. This was also true for the extinction and ice crystal number concentrations. A relationship was also suggested between the variability in cloud depth and the environmental stability across the depth of the cloud layer, which requires further investigation.

Current affiliation: The Met. Office, Bracknell, Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Anthony DelGenio, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025.

Email: adelgenio@giss.nasa.gov

Abstract

Ways to determine the turbulence intensity and the horizontal variability in cirrus clouds have been investigated using First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) Regional Experiment II aircraft, radiosonde, and radar data. Higher turbulence intensities were found within some, but not all, of the neutrally stratified layers. It was also demonstrated that the stability of cirrus layers with high extinction values decreases in time, possibly as a result of radiative destabilization. However, these features could not be directly related to each other in any simple manner. A simple linear relationship was observed between the amount of horizontal variability in the ice water content and its average value. This was also true for the extinction and ice crystal number concentrations. A relationship was also suggested between the variability in cloud depth and the environmental stability across the depth of the cloud layer, which requires further investigation.

Current affiliation: The Met. Office, Bracknell, Berkshire, United Kingdom.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Anthony DelGenio, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York, NY 10025.

Email: adelgenio@giss.nasa.gov

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