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William L. Woodley, Thomas J. Henderson, Bernard Vonnegut, Glenn Gordon, Robert Breidenthal, and Shirley M. Holle


This paper presents the results of studies of aircraft-produced ice particles (APIPs) in supercooled fog over Mono Lake, California. The King Air 200T cloud physics aircraft of the University of Wyoming and three other aircraft (a Piper Aztec, a Cessna 421-C, and a T-28) were involved in the tests. The King Air served as the monitoring aircraft when the other aircraft were tested and as both the test and monitoring aircraft when it was tested.

The studies demonstrated that the King Air produces APIPs. The ice crystals, in concentrations up to several hundred per liter, are initially quite small and of almost uniform size, and they grow to larger nearly uniform sizes with time. APIPs production is most likely at low ambient temperatures and high power settings, and when the gear and flaps are extended.

APIPs were not detected from the other aircraft. The Piper Aztec and Cessna 421 aircraft were tested on days on which an APIPs signature was produced by the King Air. The T-28 aircraft was tested when the fog-top temperature was greater than − 6°C and neither the T-28 nor the King Air produced APIPs under these conditions.

Homogeneous nucleation appears to be responsible for the observed APIPs signature, although the exact mechanism for nucleation is not known. In addition, there is the suggestion that a weaker APIPs signature may be generated by heterogeneous nucleation, when the cooling in the prop-tip vortex falls short of that thought necessary for homogeneous nucleation (i.e., ∼ − 39°C).

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William L. Woodley, Glenn Gordon, Thomas J. Henderson, Bernard Vonnegut, Daniel Rosenfeld, and Andrew Detwiler


This paper presents new results from studies of aircraft-produced ice particles (APIPs) in supercooled fog and clouds. Nine aircraft, including a Beech King Air 200T cloud physics aircraft, a Piper Aztec, a Cessna 421-C, two North American T-28s, an Aero Commander, a Piper Navajo, a Beech Turbo Baron, and a second four-bladed King Air were involved in the tests. The instrumented King Air served as the monitoring aircraft for trails of ice particles created, or not created, when the other aircraft were flown through clouds at various temperatures and served as both the test and monitoring aircraft when it itself was tested. In some cases sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas was released by the test aircraft during its test run and was detected by the King Air during its monitoring passes to confirm the location of the test aircraft wake. Ambient temperatures for the tests ranged between −5° and −12°C. The results confirm earlier published results and provide further insights into the APIPs phenomenon. The King Air at ambient temperatures less than −8°C can produce APIPs readily. The Piper Aztec and the Aero Commander also produced APIPs under the test conditions in which they were flown. The Cessna 421, Piper Navajo, and Beech Turbo Baron did not. The APIPs production potential of a T-28 is still indeterminate because a limited range of conditions was tested. Homogeneous nucleation in the adiabatically cooled regions where air is expanding around the rapidly rotating propeller tips is the cause of APIPs. An equation involving the propeller efficiency, engine thrust, and true airspeed of the aircraft is used along with the published thrust characteristics of the propellers to predict when the aircraft will produce APIPs. In most cases the predictions agree well with the field tests. Of all of the aircraft tested, the Piper Aztec, despite its small size and low horsepower, was predicted to be the most prolific producer of APIPs, and this was confirmed in field tests. The APIPs, when they are created, appear in aircraft wakes in concentrations up to several hundred per liter, which are initially very small and almost uniform in size but grow to larger nearly uniform sizes with time. APIPs production is most likely at low ambient temperatures when an aircraft is flown at maximum power with the gear and flaps extended, resulting in a relatively low airspeed under high-drag conditions. It is predicted that APIPs production of an aircraft can be decreased or eliminated altogether by using a propeller with a larger number of propeller blades, such that the engine thrust is distributed over more blades, thereby decreasing the cooling on each blade. Plans to test this hypothesis using three- and four-bladed King Airs as the test aircraft never came to fruition because of unsatisfactory weather conditions. It is likely that APIPs have confounded the results of some past cloud microphysical investigations, especially those in which repeat passes were made through individual clouds under heavy icing conditions by aircraft known now to be APIPs producers. Aircraft flying under such conditions are forced to use high power settings to overcome the drag of a heavy ice load. These are the conditions that field tests demonstrate are most conducive to the production of APIPs. In these situations, APIPs may have led investigators to conclude that there was more rapid development of ice, and higher concentrations of ice particles in clouds, than actually was the case.

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Daniel Rosenfeld, William L. Woodley, Alexander Khain, William R. Cotton, Gustavo Carrió, Isaac Ginis, and Joseph H. Golden

Improving the forecasts of the intensity of tropical cyclones (TCs) remains a major challenge. One possibility for improvement is consideration of the effects that aerosols have on tropical clouds and cyclones. The authors have been pursuing this under the Hurricane Aerosol and Microphysics Program, supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This was done through observations of aerosols and resulting cloud microphysical structure within tropical cyclones and simulating their effects using high-resolution TC models that treat cloud internal processes explicitly. In addition to atmospheric aerosols, special attention was given also to the impact of the intense sea-spray-generated aerosols and convective rolls in the hurricane boundary layer (BL) under hurricane- force winds.

The results of simulations and observations show that TC ingestion of aerosols that serve as cloud condensation nuclei can lead to significant reductions in their intensities. This is caused by redistribution of the precipitation and latent heating to more vigorous convection in the storm periphery that cools the low levels and interferes with the inflow of energy to the eyewall, hence making the eye larger and the maximum winds weaker. The microphysical effects of the pollution and dust aerosols occur mainly at the peripheral clouds. Closer to the circulation center, the hurricane-force winds raise intense sea spray that is lifted efficiently in the roll vortices that form in the BL and coalesce into rain of mostly seawater already at cloud base, which dominates the microstructure and affects the dynamics of the inner convective cloud bands.

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Joanne Simpson, William L. Woodley, Howard A. Friedman, Thomas W. Slusher, R. S. Scheffee, and Roger L. Steele


The development, testing and use of an airborne pyrotechnic cloud seeding system is described. Pyrotechnic flares producing 50 gm of silver iodide smoke each were developed by two industrial corporations and laboratory tested for nucleation effectiveness in the Colorado State University cloud chamber. A delivery rack and firing system were developed, under ESSA supervision, and installed on its B-57 jet aircraft. Night flight tests were made of reliability, burn time and flare trajectory.

The flare system was used in a Florida cumulus seeding experiment in May 1968 conducted jointly by ESSA and the Naval Research Laboratory, with the participation of the U.S. Air Force, the University of Miami Radar Laboratory, and Meteorology Research, Inc. A randomized seeding scheme was used on 19 supercooled cumuli, of which 14 were seeded and 5 were studied identically as controls. Of the 14 seeded clouds, 13 grew explosively. Seeded clouds grew 11,400 ft higher than the controls, with the difference significant at better than the 0.5% level. Rainfall from seeded and control clouds was compared by means of calibrated ground radars. Large increases in rainfall were found from seeded clouds, but at a significance level ranging from 5–20% depending on the statistical test used. A single successful repeat of the experiment could result in rainfall differences significant at the 3% level with the most stringent test.

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William L. Woodley, John A. Flueck, Ronald Biondini, Robert I. Sax, Joanne Simpson, and Abe Gagin

The Florida Area Cumulus Experiment (FACE) is a long-term program to determine the potential of dynamic seeding for increasing convective rainfall over a fixed target area. The first phase of FACE (FACE-1) provided strong indications for increased, seeding induced rainfall. The second phase, FACE-2 (beginning in June 1978 and ending in August 1980), was conducted in an attempt to confirm these indications of a positive seeding effect. The criteria for confirmation in FACE-2 were published in a NOAA Technical Report prior to program commencement. A clarification and sharpening of these confirmatory criteria are discussed in this paper. In addition, a minority position of what is to constitute confirmation in FACE-2 involving the use of linear predictor models also is discussed. This paper was written and accepted for publication before the treatment decisions of FACE-2 were known.

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