Ice Crystals Growing from Vapor in Supercooled Clouds between −2.5° and −22°C: Testing Current Parameterization Methods Using Laboratory Data

C. D. Westbrook Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Search for other papers by C. D. Westbrook in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
A. J. Heymsfield NCAR, Boulder, Colorado

Search for other papers by A. J. Heymsfield in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

The physical and empirical relationships used by microphysics schemes to control the rate at which vapor is transferred to ice crystals growing in supercooled clouds are compared with laboratory data to evaluate the realism of various model formulations.

Ice crystal growth rates predicted from capacitance theory are compared with measurements from three independent laboratory studies. When the growth is diffusion- limited, the predicted growth rates are consistent with the measured values to within about 20% in 14 of the experiments analyzed, over the temperature range −2.5° to −22°C. Only two experiments showed significant disagreement with theory (growth rate overestimated by about 30%–40% at −3.7° and −10.6°C).

Growth predictions using various ventilation factor parameterizations were also calculated and compared with supercooled wind tunnel data. It was found that neither of the standard parameterizations used for ventilation adequately described both needle and dendrite growth; however, by choosing habit-specific ventilation factors from previous numerical work it was possible to match the experimental data in both regimes.

The relationships between crystal mass, capacitance, and fall velocity were investigated based on the laboratory data. It was found that for a given crystal size the capacitance was significantly overestimated by two of the microphysics schemes considered here, yet for a given crystal mass the growth rate was underestimated by those same schemes because of unrealistic mass/size assumptions. The fall speed for a given capacitance (controlling the residence time of a crystal in the supercooled layer relative to its effectiveness as a vapor sink, and the relative importance of ventilation effects) was found to be overpredicted by all the schemes in which fallout is permitted, implying that the modeled crystals reside for too short a time within the cloud layer and that the parameterized ventilation effect is too strong.

Corresponding author address: Chris Westbrook, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, P.O. Box 243, Reading RG6 6BB, United Kingdom. E-mail: c.d.westbrook@reading.ac.uk

Abstract

The physical and empirical relationships used by microphysics schemes to control the rate at which vapor is transferred to ice crystals growing in supercooled clouds are compared with laboratory data to evaluate the realism of various model formulations.

Ice crystal growth rates predicted from capacitance theory are compared with measurements from three independent laboratory studies. When the growth is diffusion- limited, the predicted growth rates are consistent with the measured values to within about 20% in 14 of the experiments analyzed, over the temperature range −2.5° to −22°C. Only two experiments showed significant disagreement with theory (growth rate overestimated by about 30%–40% at −3.7° and −10.6°C).

Growth predictions using various ventilation factor parameterizations were also calculated and compared with supercooled wind tunnel data. It was found that neither of the standard parameterizations used for ventilation adequately described both needle and dendrite growth; however, by choosing habit-specific ventilation factors from previous numerical work it was possible to match the experimental data in both regimes.

The relationships between crystal mass, capacitance, and fall velocity were investigated based on the laboratory data. It was found that for a given crystal size the capacitance was significantly overestimated by two of the microphysics schemes considered here, yet for a given crystal mass the growth rate was underestimated by those same schemes because of unrealistic mass/size assumptions. The fall speed for a given capacitance (controlling the residence time of a crystal in the supercooled layer relative to its effectiveness as a vapor sink, and the relative importance of ventilation effects) was found to be overpredicted by all the schemes in which fallout is permitted, implying that the modeled crystals reside for too short a time within the cloud layer and that the parameterized ventilation effect is too strong.

Corresponding author address: Chris Westbrook, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Earley Gate, P.O. Box 243, Reading RG6 6BB, United Kingdom. E-mail: c.d.westbrook@reading.ac.uk
Save
  • aufm Kampe, H. J., H. K. Weickmann, and J. J. Kelly, 1951: The influence of temperature on the shape of ice crystals growing at water saturation. J. Meteor., 8, 168174.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bailey, M., and J. Hallett, 2004: Growth rates and habits of ice crystals between −20° and −70°C. J. Atmos. Sci., 61, 514544.

  • Baker, B. A., and R. P. Lawson, 2006: In situ observations of the microphysical properties of wave, cirrus, and anvil clouds. Part I: Wave clouds. J. Atmos. Sci., 63, 31603185.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Brown, P. R. A., and P. N. Francis, 1995: Improved measurements of the ice water content of cirrus using a total-water probe. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 12, 410414.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carey, L. D., J. Niu, P. Yang, J. A. Kankiewicz, V. E. Larson, and T. H. Vonder Haar, 2008: The vertical profile of liquid and ice water content in midlatitude mixed-phase altocumulus clouds. J. Appl. Meteor. Climatol., 47, 24872495.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chen, J., and D. Lamb, 1994: The theoretical basis for the parameterization of ice crystal habits: Growth by vapor deposition. J. Atmos. Sci., 51, 12061222.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Chiruta, M., and P. K. Wang, 2005: The capacitance of solid and hollow hexagonal ice columns. Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L05803, doi:10.1029/2004GL021771.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cooper, W. A., and G. Vali, 1981: The origin of ice in mountain cap clouds. J. Atmos. Sci., 38, 12441259.

  • Cox, G. P., 1988: Modelling precipitation in frontal rainbands. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 114, 115127.

  • Crosier, J., and Coauthors, 2011: Observations of ice multiplication in a weakly convective cell embedded in supercooled mid-level stratus. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 257273.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Field, P., A. J. Heymsfield, A. Bansemer, and C. H. Twohey, 2008: Determination of the combined ventilation factor and capacitance for ice crystal aggregates from airborne observations in a tropical anvil cloud. J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 376391.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fridlind, A. M., A. Ackerman, G. McFarquhar, G. Zhang, M. R. Poellot, P. J. DeMott, A. J. Prenni, and A. J. Heymsfield, 2007: Ice properties of single-layer stratocumulus during the mixed-phase Arctic Cloud Experiment. 2. Model results. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24202, doi:10.1029/2007JD008646.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fukuta, N., 1969: Experimental studies on the growth of small ice crystals. J. Atmos. Sci., 26, 522531.

  • Hall, W., and H. R. Pruppacher, 1976: The survival of ice particles falling from cirrus clouds in subsaturated air. J. Atmos. Sci., 33, 19952006.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hogan, R. J., P. N. Francis, H. Flentje, A. J. Illingworth, M. Quante, and J. Pelon, 2003: Characteristics of mixed-phase clouds: Part I: Lidar, radar and aircraft observations from CLARE’98. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 129, 20892116.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hogan, R. J., M. D. Behera, E. J. O’Connor, and A. J. Illingworth, 2004: Estimate of the global distribution of supercooled liquid water clouds using the LITE lidar. Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L05106, doi:10.1029/2003GL018977.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hong, S.-Y., J. Dudhia, and S.-H. Chen, 2004: A revised approach to ice microphysical processes for the bulk parameterization of clouds and precipitation. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 103120.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Houghton, H. G., 1950: A preliminary quantitative analysis of precipitation mechanisms. J. Meteor., 7, 363369.

  • Ji, W., and P. K. Wang, 1999: Ventilation coefficients for falling ice crystals in the atmosphere at low–intermediate Reynolds numbers. J. Atmos. Sci., 56, 829836.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kajikawa, M., 1974: On the collection efficiency of snow crystals for cloud droplets. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 52, 328356.

  • Koenig, L. R., 1971: Numerical modeling of ice deposition. J. Atmos. Sci., 28, 226237.

  • Korolev, A. V., M. P. Bailey, J. Hallett, and G. A. Isaac, 2004: Laboratory and in situ observation of deposition growth of frozen drops. J. Appl. Meteor., 43, 612622.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Lawson, R. P., and Coauthors, 2006: The 2D-S (stereo) probe: Design and preliminary tests of a new airborne, high-speed, high-resolution, particle imaging probe. J. Atmos. Oceanic Technol., 23, 14621477.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Magee, N., A. M. Moyle, and D. Lamb, 2006: Experimental determination of the deposition coefficient of small cirrus-like ice crystals near −50°C. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L17813, doi:10.1029/2006GL026665.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marsham, J. H., S. Dobbie, and R. J. Hogan, 2006: Evaluation of a large-eddy model simulation of a mixed-phase altocumulus cloud using microwave radiometer, lidar and Doppler radar data. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 132, 16931715.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mason, B. J., 1953: The growth of ice crystals in a supercooled water cloud. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 79, 104111.

  • McDonald, J. E., 1963: The use of the electrostatic analogy in studies of ice crystal growth. Z. Angew. Math. Phys., 14, 610619.

  • Ono, A., 1969: The shape and riming properties of ice crystals in natural clouds. J. Atmos. Sci., 26, 138147.

  • Pitter, R. L., and H. P. Pruppacher, 1973: A wind tunnel investigation of freezing of small water drops falling at terminal velocity in air. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 99, 540550.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pruppacher, H. R., and J. D. Klett, 1997. Microphysics of Clouds and Precipitation. 2nd ed. Kluwer, 954 pp.

  • Rauber, R. M., and A. Tokay, 1991: An explanation for the existence of supercooled liquid water at the top of cold clouds. J. Atmos. Sci., 48, 10051023.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rutledge, S. A., and P. V. Hobbs, 1983: The mesoscale and microscale structure and organization of clouds and precipitation in midlatitude cyclones. VIII: A model for the “seeder–feeder” process in warm-frontal rainbands. J. Atmos. Sci., 40, 11851206.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryan, B. F., E. R. Wishart, and E. W. Holroyd, 1974: The densities and growth rates of ice crystals between −5° and −9°C. J. Atmos. Sci., 31, 21362141.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ryan, B. F., E. R. Wishart, and D. E. Shaw, 1976: The growth rates and densities of ice crystals between −3° and −21°C. J. Atmos. Sci., 33, 842850.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Smith, A. J., V. E. Larson, J. Niu, J. A. Kankiewicz, and L. D. Carey, 2009: Processes that generate and deplete liquid water and snow in thin midlevel mixed-phase clouds. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D12203, doi:10.1029/2008JD011531.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Takahashi, T., and N. Fukuta, 1988: Supercooled cloud tunnel studies on the growth of snow crystals between −4° and −20°C. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 66, 841855.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Takahashi, T., T. Endoh, G. Wakahama, and N. Fukuta, 1991: Vapor diffusional growth of free-falling snow crystals between −3° and −23°C. J. Meteor. Soc. Japan, 69, 1530.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thompson, G., P. R. Field, R. M. Rasmussen, and W. D. Hall, 2008: Explicit forecasts of winter precipitation using an improved bulk microphysics scheme. Part II: Implementation of a new snow parameterization. Mon. Wea. Rev., 136, 50955115.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thorpe, A. D., and B. J. Mason, 1966: The evaporation of ice spheres, and ice crystals. Br. J. Appl. Phys., 17, 541551.

  • Westbrook, C. D., 2010: Origin of the Parry arc. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 137, 538543.

  • Westbrook, C. D., R. J. Hogan, and A. J. Illingworth, 2008: The capacitance of pristine ice crystals and aggregate snowflakes. J. Atmos. Sci., 65, 206219.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Westbrook, C. D., A. J. Illingworth, E. J. O’Connor, and R. J. Hogan, 2010: Doppler lidar measurements of oriented planar ice crystals falling from supercooled and glaciated cloud layers. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136, 260276.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wilson, D. A., and S. P. Ballard, 1999: A microphysically based precipitation scheme for the UK Meteorological Office Unified Model. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 125, 16071636.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Zeng, X., and Coauthors, 2009: An indirect effect of ice nuclei on atmospheric radiation. J. Atmos. Sci., 66, 4161.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 328 106 11
PDF Downloads 309 95 8