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Alexandria Johnson, Sonia Lasher-Trapp, Aaron Bansemer, Z. Ulanowski, and Andrew J. Heymsfield

Abstract

The Small Ice Detector, version 2 (SID-2), High-performance Instrumented Airborne Platform for Environmental Research (HIAPER; SID-2H) was used to detect small ice particles in the early stages of ice formation in the high liquid water environment of tropical maritime cumulus clouds sampled during the Ice in Clouds Experiment—Tropical (ICE-T) field campaign. Its performance in comparison to other probes and the development of new corrections applied to the data are presented. The SID-2H detected small ice crystals among larger particles. It correctly identified water drops, and discriminated between round and irregular particle shapes in water-dominated clouds with errors less than 5%. Remaining uncertainties in the sensing volume and the volume over which coincidence of particles occurred, result in the data being used here in a qualitative manner to identify the presence of ice, and its habits and sizes.

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Sonia Lasher-Trapp, David C. Leon, Paul J. DeMott, Cecille M. Villanueva-Birriel, Alexandria V. Johnson, Daniel H. Moser, Colin S. Tully, and Wei Wu

Abstract

Three flights from the Ice in Clouds Experiment–Tropical (ICE-T) field campaign examined the onset of ice near the ascending cloud tops of tropical maritime cumuli as they cooled from 0° to −14°C. Careful quantitative analysis of ice number concentrations included manual scrutiny of particle images and corrections for possible particle-shattering artifacts. The novel use of the Wyoming Cloud Radar documented the stage of cloud development and tops relative to the aircraft sampling, complemented the manual estimates of graupel concentrations, and provided new clear evidence of graupel movement through the rime-splintering zone. Measurements of ice-nucleating particles (INPs) provided an estimate of primary initiated ice.

The data portray a dynamically complex picture of hydrometeor transport contributing to, and likely resulting from, the rime-splintering process. Hundreds per liter of supercooled raindrops ascended within the updrafts as the cloud tops reached 0°C and contributed in part to the 0.1 L−1 graupel detected soon after the cloud tops cooled to −5°C. Rime splintering could thus be initiated upon first ascent of the cloud top through that zone and arguably contributed to the 1 L−1 or more graupel observed above it. Graupel ascending/descending into, or balanced within, the rime-splintering zone were found. In wider, less isolated clouds with dying updrafts and tops near −14°C, ice particle concentrations sometimes reached 100 L−1. Future 3D numerical modeling will be required to evaluate if rime splintering alone can explain the difference of three to four orders of magnitude in the observed INPs and the graupel observed at −5°C and colder.

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Clark Evans, Heather M. Archambault, Jason M. Cordeira, Cody Fritz, Thomas J. Galarneau Jr., Saska Gjorgjievska, Kyle S. Griffin, Alexandria Johnson, William A. Komaromi, Sarah Monette, Paytsar Muradyan, Brian Murphy, Michael Riemer, John Sears, Daniel Stern, Brian Tang, and Segayle Thompson

The Pre-Depression Investigation of Cloud-systems in the Tropics (PREDICT) field experiment successfully gathered data from four developing and four decaying/nondeveloping tropical disturbances over the tropical North Atlantic basin between 15 August and 30 September 2010. The invaluable roles played by early career scientists (ECSs) throughout the campaign helped make possible the successful execution of the field program's mission to investigate tropical cyclone formation. ECSs provided critical meteorological information— often obtained from novel ECS-created products—during daily weather briefings that were used by the principal investigators in making mission planning decisions. Once a Gulfstream V (G-V) flight mission was underway, ECSs provided nowcasting support, relaying information that helped the mission scientists to steer clear of potential areas of turbulence aloft. Data from these missions, including dropsonde and GPS water vapor profiler data, were continually obtained, processed, and quality-controlled by ECSs. The dropsonde data provided National Hurricane Center forecasters and PREDICT mission scientists with real-time information regarding the characteristics of tropical disturbances. These data and others will serve as the basis for multiple ECS-led research topics over the years to come and are expected to provide new insights into the tropical cyclone formation process. PREDICT also provided invaluable educational and professional development experiences for ECSs, including the opportunity to critically evaluate observational evidence for tropical cyclone development theories and networking opportunities with their peers and established scientists in the field.

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