Search Results

You are looking at 31 - 40 of 48 items for

  • Author or Editor: Zhien Wang x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
Min Deng
,
Rainer M. Volkamer
,
Zhien Wang
,
Jefferson R. Snider
,
Natalie Kille
, and
Leidy J. Romero-Alvarez

Abstract

The western U.S. wildfire smoke plumes observed by the upward-pointing Wyoming Cloud Lidar (WCL) during the Biomass Burning Fluxes of Trace Gases and Aerosols (BB-FLUX) project are investigated in a two-part paper. Part II here presents the reconstructed vertical structures of seven plumes from airborne WCL measurements. The vertical structures evident in the fire plume cross sections, supported by in situ measurements, showed that the fire plumes had distinct macrophysical and microphysical properties, which are closely related to the plume transport, fire emission intensity, and thermodynamic structure in the boundary layer. All plumes had an injection layer between 2.8 and 4.0 km above mean sea level, which is generally below the identified boundary layer top height. Plumes that transported upward out of the boundary layer, such as the Rabbit Foot and Pole Creek fires, formed a higher plume at around 5.5 km. The largest and highest Pole Creek fire plume was transported farthest and was sampled by University of Wyoming King Air aircraft at 170 km, or 2.3 h, downwind. It was associated with the warmest, driest, deepest boundary layer and the highest wind speed and turbulence. The Watson Creek fire plume intensified in the afternoon with stronger CO emission and larger smoke plume height than in the morning, indicating a fire diurnal cycle, but some fire plumes did not intensify in the afternoon. There were pockets of relatively large irregular aerosol particles at the tops of plumes from active fires. In less-active fire plumes, the WCL depolarization ratio and passive cavity aerosol spectrometer probe mass mean diameter maximized at a height that was low in the plume.

Full access
Kenneth Sassen
,
Gerald G. Mace
,
Zhien Wang
,
Michael R. Poellot
,
Stephen M. Sekelsky
, and
Robert E. McIntosh

Abstract

A continental stratus cloud layer was studied by advanced ground-based remote sensing instruments and aircraft probes on 30 April 1994 from the Cloud and Radiation Testbed site in north-central Oklahoma. The boundary layer structure clearly resembled that of a cloud-topped mixed layer, and the cloud content is shown to be near adiabatic up to the cloud-top entrainment zone. A cloud retrieval algorithm using the radar reflectivity and cloud droplet concentration (either measured in situ or deduced using dual-channel microwave radiometer data) is applied to construct uniquely high-resolution cross sections of liquid water content and mean droplet radius. The combined evidence indicates that the 350–600 m deep, slightly supercooled (2.0° to −2.0°C) cloud, which failed to produce any detectable ice or drizzle particles, contained an average droplet concentration of 347 cm−3, and a maximum liquid water content of 0.8 g m−3 and mean droplet radius of 9 μm near cloud top. Lidar data indicate that the Ka-band radar usually detected the cloud-base height to within ∼50 m, such that the radar insensitivity to small cloud droplets had a small impact on the findings. Radar-derived liquid water paths ranged from 71 to 259 g m−2 as the stratus deck varied, which is in excellent agreement with dual-channel microwave radiometer data, but ∼20% higher than that measured in situ. This difference appears to be due to the undersampling of the few largest cloud droplets by the aircraft probes. This combination of approaches yields a unique image of the content of a continental stratus cloud, as well as illustrating the utility of modern remote sensing systems for probing nonprecipitating water clouds.

Full access
Andrew J. Heymsfield
,
Paul R. Field
,
Matt Bailey
,
Dave Rogers
,
Jeffrey Stith
,
Cynthia Twohy
,
Zhien Wang
, and
Samuel Haimov

Abstract

Lenticular wave clouds are used as a natural laboratory to estimate the linear and mass growth rates of ice particles at temperatures from −20° to −32°C and to characterize the apparent rate of ice nucleation at water saturation at a nearly constant temperature. Data are acquired from 139 liquid cloud penetrations flown approximately along or against the wind direction. A mean linear ice growth rate of about 1.4 μm s−1, relatively independent of particle size (in the range 100–400 μm) and temperature is deduced. Using the particle size distributions measured along the wind direction, the rate of increase in the ice water content (IWC) is calculated from the measured particle size distributions using theory and from those distributions by assuming different ice particle densities; the IWC is too small to be measured. Very low ice effective densities, <0.1 g cm−3, are needed to account for the observed rate of increase in the IWC and the unexpectedly high linear growth rate.

Using data from multiple penetrations through a narrow (along wind) and thin wave cloud with relatively flat airflow streamlines, growth rate calculations are used to estimate where the ice particles originate and whether the ice is nucleated in a narrow band or over an extended period of time. The calculations are consistent with the expectation that the ice formation occurs near the leading cloud edge, presumably through a condensation–freezing process. The observed ice concentration increase along the wind is more likely due to a variation in ice growth rates than to prolonged ice nucleation.

Full access
Kenneth Sassen
,
W. Patrick Arnott
,
David O'C. Starr
,
Gerald G. Mace
,
Zhien Wang
, and
Michael R. Poellot

Abstract

Hurricane Nora traveled up the Baja Peninsula coast in the unusually warm El Niño waters of September 1997 until rapidly decaying as it approached southern California on 24 September. The anvil cirrus blowoff from the final surge of tropical convection became embedded in subtropical flow that advected the cirrus across the western United States, where it was studied from the Facility for Atmospheric Remote Sensing (FARS) in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 25 September. A day later, the cirrus shield remnants were redirected southward by midlatitude circulations into the southern Great Plains, providing a case study opportunity for the research aircraft and ground-based remote sensors assembled at the Clouds and Radiation Testbed (CART) site in northern Oklahoma. Using these comprehensive resources and new remote sensing cloud retrieval algorithms, the microphysical and radiative cloud properties of this unusual cirrus event are uniquely characterized.

Importantly, at both the FARS and CART sites the cirrus generated spectacular halos and arcs, which acted as a tracer for the hurricane cirrus, despite the limited lifetimes of individual ice crystals. Lidar depolarization data indicate widespread regions of uniform ice plate orientations, and in situ particle replicator data show a preponderance of pristine, solid hexagonal plates and columns. It is suggested that these unusual aspects are the result of the mode of cirrus particle nucleation, presumably involving the lofting of sea salt nuclei in strong thunderstorm updrafts into the upper troposphere. This created a reservoir of haze particles that continued to produce halide-salt-contaminated ice crystals during the extended period of cirrus cloud maintenance. The inference that marine microbiota are embedded in the replicas of some ice crystals collected over the CART site points to the longevity of marine effects. Various nucleation scenarios proposed for cirrus clouds based on this and other studies, and the implications for understanding cirrus radiative properties on a global scale, are discussed.

Full access
Andrew J. Heymsfield
,
Patrick C. Kennedy
,
Steve Massie
,
Carl Schmitt
,
Zhien Wang
,
Samuel Haimov
, and
Art Rangno

The production of holes and channels in altocumulus clouds by two commercial turboprop aircraft is documented for the first time. An unprecedented dataset combining in situ measurements from microphysical probes with remote sensing measurements from cloud radar and lidar operating from the National Science Foundation (NSF)/NCAR C-130 aircraft, as well as ground-based NOAA and Colorado State University (CSU) radars, is used to describe the radar/lidar properties of a hole punch cloud and channel and the ensuing ice microphysical properties and structure of the ice column that subsequently developed. Ice particle production by commercial turboprop aircraft climbing through clouds much warmer than the regions where contrails are produced has the potential to significantly modify the cloud microphysical properties and effectively seed them under some conditions. Jet aircraft may also be producing hole punch clouds when flying through altocumulus with supercooled droplets at heights lower than their normal cruise altitudes, where contrails can form. Commercial aircraft can therefore generate ice and affect the clouds at temperatures as much as 30°C warmer than the −40°C contrail formation threshold temperature.

Full access
Zhien Wang
,
Jeffrey French
,
Gabor Vali
,
Perry Wechsler
,
Samuel Haimov
,
Alfred Rodi
,
Min Deng
,
Dave Leon
,
Jeff Snider
,
Liran Peng
, and
Andrew L. Pazmany

Clouds are a critical component of the Earth's coupled water and energy cycles. Poor understanding of cloud–radiation–dynamics feedbacks results in large uncertainties in forecasting human-induced climate changes. Better understanding of cloud microphysical and dynamical processes is critical to improving cloud parameterizations in climate models as well as in cloud-resolving models. Airborne in situ and remote sensing can make critical contributions to progress. Here, a new integrated cloud observation capability developed for the University of Wyoming King Air is described. The suite of instruments includes the Wyoming Cloud Lidar, a 183- GHz microwave radiometer, the Wyoming Cloud Radar, and in situ probes. Combined use of these remote sensor measurements yields more complete descriptions of the vertical structure of cloud microphysical properties and of cloud-scale dynamics than that attainable through ground-based remote sensing or in situ sampling alone. Together with detailed in situ data on aerosols, hydrometeors, water vapor, thermodynamic, and air motion parameters, an advanced observational capability was created to study cloud-scale processes from a single aircraft. The Wyoming Airborne Integrated Cloud Observation (WAICO) experiment was conducted to demonstrate these new capabilities and examples are presented to illustrate the results obtained.

Full access
Belay Demoz
,
Cyrille Flamant
,
Tammy Weckwerth
,
David Whiteman
,
Keith Evans
,
Frédéric Fabry
,
Paolo Di Girolamo
,
David Miller
,
Bart Geerts
,
William Brown
,
Geary Schwemmer
,
Bruce Gentry
,
Wayne Feltz
, and
Zhien Wang

Abstract

A detailed analysis of the structure of a double dryline observed over the Oklahoma panhandle during the first International H2O Project (IHOP_2002) convective initiation (CI) mission on 22 May 2002 is presented. A unique and unprecedented set of high temporal and spatial resolution measurements of water vapor mixing ratio, wind, and boundary layer structure parameters were acquired using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) scanning Raman lidar (SRL), the Goddard Lidar Observatory for Winds (GLOW), and the Holographic Airborne Rotating Lidar Instrument Experiment (HARLIE), respectively. These measurements are combined with the vertical velocity measurements derived from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Multiple Antenna Profiler Radar (MAPR) and radar structure function from the high-resolution University of Massachusetts frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) radar to reveal the evolution and structure of the late afternoon double-dryline boundary layer. The eastern dryline advanced and then retreated over the Homestead profiling site in the Oklahoma panhandle, providing conditions ripe for a detailed observation of the small-scale variability within the boundary layer and the dryline. In situ aircraft data, dropsonde and radiosonde data, along with NCAR S-band dual-polarization Doppler radar (S-Pol) measurements, are also used to provide the larger-scale picture of the double-dryline environment.

Moisture and temperature jumps of about 3 g kg−1 and 1–2 K, respectively, were observed across the eastern radar fine line (dryline), more than the moisture jumps (1–2 g kg−1) observed across the western radar fine line (secondary dryline). Most updraft plumes observed were located on the moist side of the eastern dryline with vertical velocities exceeding 3 m s−1 and variable horizontal widths of 2–5 km, although some were as wide as 7–8 km. These updrafts were up to 1.5 g kg−1 moister than the surrounding environment.

Although models suggested deep convection over the Oklahoma panhandle and several cloud lines were observed near the dryline, the dryline itself did not initiate any storms over the intensive observation region (IOR). Possible reasons for this lack of convection are discussed. Strong capping inversion and moisture detrainment between the lifting condensation level and the level of free convection related to an overriding drier air, together with the relatively small near-surface moisture values (less than 10 g kg−1), were detrimental to CI in this case.

Full access
Andrew J. Heymsfield
,
Alain Protat
,
Dominique Bouniol
,
Richard T. Austin
,
Robin J. Hogan
,
Julien Delanoë
,
Hajime Okamoto
,
Kaori Sato
,
Gerd-Jan van Zadelhoff
,
David P. Donovan
, and
Zhien Wang

Abstract

Vertical profiles of ice water content (IWC) can now be derived globally from spaceborne cloud satellite radar (CloudSat) data. Integrating these data with Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation (CALIPSO) data may further increase accuracy. Evaluations of the accuracy of IWC retrieved from radar alone and together with other measurements are now essential. A forward model employing aircraft Lagrangian spiral descents through mid- and low-latitude ice clouds is used to estimate profiles of what a lidar and conventional and Doppler radar would sense. Radar reflectivity Ze and Doppler fall speed at multiple wavelengths and extinction in visible wavelengths were derived from particle size distributions and shape data, constrained by IWC that were measured directly in most instances. These data were provided to eight teams that together cover 10 retrieval methods. Almost 3400 vertically distributed points from 19 clouds were used. Approximate cloud optical depths ranged from below 1 to more than 50. The teams returned retrieval IWC profiles that were evaluated in seven different ways to identify the amount and sources of errors. The mean (median) ratio of the retrieved-to-measured IWC was 1.15 (1.03) ± 0.66 for all teams, 1.08 (1.00) ± 0.60 for those employing a lidar–radar approach, and 1.27 (1.12) ± 0.78 for the standard CloudSat radar–visible optical depth algorithm for Ze > −28 dBZe . The ratios for the groups employing the lidar–radar approach and the radar–visible optical depth algorithm may be lower by as much as 25% because of uncertainties in the extinction in small ice particles provided to the groups. Retrievals from future spaceborne radar using reflectivity–Doppler fall speeds show considerable promise. A lidar–radar approach, as applied to measurements from CALIPSO and CloudSat, is useful only in a narrow range of ice water paths (IWP) (40 < IWP < 100 g m−2). Because of the use of the Rayleigh approximation at high reflectivities in some of the algorithms and differences in the way nonspherical particles and Mie effects are considered, IWC retrievals in regions of radar reflectivity at 94 GHz exceeding about 5 dBZe are subject to uncertainties of ±50%.

Full access
Cynthia H. Twohy
,
Paul J. DeMott
,
Kerri A. Pratt
,
R. Subramanian
,
Gregory L. Kok
,
Shane M. Murphy
,
Traci Lersch
,
Andrew J. Heymsfield
,
Zhien Wang
,
Kim A. Prather
, and
John H. Seinfeld

Abstract

Ice concentrations in orographic wave clouds at temperatures between −24° and −29°C were shown to be related to aerosol characteristics in nearby clear air during five research flights over the Rocky Mountains. When clouds with influence from colder temperatures were excluded from the dataset, mean ice nuclei and cloud ice number concentrations were very low, on the order of 1–5 L−1. In this environment, ice number concentrations were found to be significantly correlated with the number concentration of larger particles, those larger than both 0.1- and 0.5-μm diameter. A variety of complementary techniques was used to measure aerosol size distributions and chemical composition. Strong correlations were also observed between ice concentrations and the number concentrations of soot and biomass-burning aerosols. Ice nuclei concentrations directly measured in biomass-burning plumes were the highest detected during the project. Taken together, this evidence indicates a potential role for biomass-burning aerosols in ice formation, particularly in regions with relatively low concentrations of other ice nucleating aerosols.

Full access
Kerri A. Pratt
,
Andrew J. Heymsfield
,
Cynthia H. Twohy
,
Shane M. Murphy
,
Paul J. DeMott
,
James G. Hudson
,
R. Subramanian
,
Zhien Wang
,
John H. Seinfeld
, and
Kimberly A. Prather

Abstract

During the Ice in Clouds Experiment–Layer Clouds (ICE-L), aged biomass-burning particles were identified within two orographic wave cloud regions over Wyoming using single-particle mass spectrometry and electron microscopy. Using a suite of instrumentation, particle chemistry was characterized in tandem with cloud microphysics. The aged biomass-burning particles comprised ∼30%–40% by number of the 0.1–1.0-μm clear-air particles and were composed of potassium, organic carbon, elemental carbon, and sulfate. Aerosol mass spectrometry measurements suggested these cloud-processed particles were predominantly sulfate by mass. The first cloud region sampled was characterized by primarily homogeneously nucleated ice particles formed at temperatures near −40°C. The second cloud period was characterized by high cloud droplet concentrations (∼150–300 cm−3) and lower heterogeneously nucleated ice concentrations (7–18 L−1) at cloud temperatures of −24° to −25°C. As expected for the observed particle chemistry and dynamics of the observed wave clouds, few significant differences were observed between the clear-air particles and cloud residues. However, suggestive of a possible heterogeneous nucleation mechanism within the first cloud region, ice residues showed enrichments in the number fractions of soot and mass fractions of black carbon, measured by a single-particle mass spectrometer and a single-particle soot photometer, respectively. In addition, enrichment of biomass-burning particles internally mixed with oxalic acid in both the homogeneously nucleated ice and cloud droplets compared to clear air suggests either preferential activation as cloud condensation nuclei or aqueous phase cloud processing.

Full access