The Mixed-Phase Arctic Cloud Experiment (M-PACE) was conducted from 27 September through 22 October 2004 over the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility (ACRF) on the North Slope of Alaska. The primary objectives were to collect a dataset suitable to study interactions between microphysics, dynamics, and radiative transfer in mixed-phase Arctic clouds, and to develop/evaluate cloud property retrievals from surface-and satellite-based remote sensing instruments. Observations taken during the 1977/98 Surface Heat and Energy Budget of the Arctic (SHEBA) experiment revealed that Arctic clouds frequently consist of one (or more) liquid layers precipitating ice. M-PACE sought to investigate the physical processes of these clouds by utilizing two aircraft (an in situ aircraft to characterize the microphysical properties of the clouds and a remote sensing aircraft to constraint the upwelling radiation) over the ACRF site on the North Slope of Alaska. The measurements successfully documented the microphysical structure of Arctic mixed-phase clouds, with multiple in situ profiles collected in both single- and multilayer clouds over two ground-based remote sensing sites. Liquid was found in clouds with cloud-top temperatures as cold as −30°C, with the coldest cloud-top temperature warmer than −40°C sampled by the aircraft. Remote sensing instruments suggest that ice was present in low concentrations, mostly concentrated in precipitation shafts, although there are indications of light ice precipitation present below the optically thick single-layer clouds. The prevalence of liquid down to these low temperatures potentially could be explained by the relatively low measured ice nuclei concentrations.

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Footnotes

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign, Urbana, Illinois

University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington

University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, Wisconsin

Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

Droplet Measurement Technologies, Inc., Boulder, Colorado

University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska

Analytical Services & Materials, Inc., Hampton, Virginia

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Virginia

Sandia National Laboratories, California, Livermore, California

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

The Cooperative Institute of Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, and The Cooperative Institute of Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado