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Paul J. DeMott, Michael P. Meyers, and William R. Cotton


An effort to improve descriptions of ice initiation processes of relevance to cirrus clouds for use in regional-scale numerical cloud models with bulk microphysical schemes is described. This is approached by deriving practical parameterizations of the process of ice initiation by homogeneous freezing of cloud and haze (CCN) particles in the atmosphere. The homogeneous freezing formulations may be used with generalized distributions of cloud water and CCN (pure ammonium sulfate assumed). Numerical cloud model sensitivity experiments were made using a microphysical parcel model and a mososcale cloud model to investigate the impact of the homogeneous freezing process and heterogeneous ice nucleation processes on the formation and makeup of cirrus clouds. These studies point out the critical nature of assumptions made regarding the abundance and character of heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN) present in the upper troposphere. Conclusions regarding the sources of ice crystals in cirrus clouds and the potential impact of human activities on these populations must await further measurements of CCN and particularly IN in upper-tropospheric and lower-stratospheric regions.

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Jerry Y. Harrington, Michael P. Meyers, Robert L. Walko, and William R. Cotton


Observational data collected during the FIRE II experiment showing the existence of bimodal ice spectra along with experimental evidence of the size dependence of riming are utilized in the development of a bimodal ice spectrum parameterization for use in the RAMS model. Two ice classes are defined: pristine ice and snow, each described by a separate, complete gamma distribution function. Pristine ice is small ice consisting of particles with mean sizes less than 125 µm, while snow is the large class consisting of particles greater than 125 µm. Analytical equations are formulated for the conversion between the ice classes by vapor depositional growth (sublimation). During ice subsaturated conditions, a number concentration sink is parameterized for all ice species. The performance of the parameterizations in a simple parcel model is discussed and evaluated against an explicit Lagrangian parcel microphysical model.

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