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  • Author or Editor: Gérard Brogniez x
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Frederique Auriol, Jean-François Gayet, Guy Febvre, Olivier Jourdan, Laurent Labonnote, and Gerard Brogniez


Observations of halos and related phenomena due to ice crystals are commonly reported from ground observations and presented in the literature. Nevertheless, ice crystal characteristics have only been poorly documented from in situ measurements performed in halo-producing cirrus with simultaneous observations of optical phenomena. Using the Polar Nephelometer, a new instrument for in situ measuring of the scattering phase function of cloud droplets and ice particles, 22° and 46° halo features have been evidenced during a cirrus uncinus cloud case study between −30°C and −38°C. Simultaneous microphysical measurements were made with a 2D-C probe manufactured by Particle Measuring Systems Inc. (PMS). The results show that ice crystal properties derived from 2D-C measurements do not present substantial differences when comparing cirrus cloud samples with and without halos. Consequently, the cloud scattering properties appear to be dominated by small ice particles (smaller than about 100 μm), which are poorly documented with conventional PMS probes. The halo occurrences are observed in only a few cloud portions (2%), which are characterized by small horizontal scales (100–400 m). Furthermore, the observed 22° and 46° peak features are smoothed out with regard to modeling results relative to geometric pristine-crystal shape. These differences are discussed by using the new Inhomogeneous Hexagonal Monocrystal theoretical model of light scattering.

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Jean-François Gayet, Guy Febvre, Gerard Brogniez, Helene Chepfer, Wolfgang Renger, and Peter Wendling


During the intensive International Cirrus Experiment conducted over the North Sea during fall 1989, natural cirrus and contrail-induced cirrus were analyzed from in situ and remote sensing measurements (lidar and infrared radiometer). These two cloud types primarily formed at the same range of altitude (8200 m, −37°C). Analysis of the measurements depicts distinctive microphysical and optical properties in the two types of cirrus. Natural cirrus exhibits sheared fallstreaks of ice crystals up to 750 µm in size near the base level. From the top to the base of this cloud the mean values of ice water content and particle concentration increase from 15 to 50 mg m−3 and from 26 to 60 L−1, respectively. The corresponding visible optical depth is around 2.0. Greatest particle concentration and smallest ice crystals are measured at all levels in contrails leading to an optical depth of 0.8 in the denser cloud despite an ice water content that never exceeds 18 mg m−3. These results are consistent with remote measurements from which the backscattering to extinction ratio k is deduced. The largest values of k (0.047 sr −1) are found in a young-life contrail and can be theoretically explained by a spherical shape of small ice crystals. Nonspherical ice particles with larger mean diameter are found in natural cirrus and lead to lower values of k (around 0.02 sr−1).

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