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C. A. Knight, N. C. Knight, W. W. Grotewold, and T. W. Cannon

Abstract

Impacts of hydrometeors on aluminum foil over a grooved backing, as in standard airborne foil impactors, have been produced in the laboratory using a modified crossbow to achieve aircraft speeds. The purpose of the work was to test the ability to distinguish the phase of the hydrometeors from the nature of the imprints. Solid, spherical ice pellets (frozen drops) and drops of slush leave impressions that are often indistinguishable from those left by liquid drops, at sizes below about 3 mm diameter.

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William C. Macklin, Charles A. Knight, Howard E. Moore, Nancy C. Knight, Walter H. Pollock, John N. Carras, and Suszanne Thwaiters

Abstract

The deuterium, crystal and air bubble structures of 11 large hailstones from three severe storms have been examined. It is emphasized that there are a number of assumptions underlying the interpretation of such data and these are discussed. In seven of the hailstones the ambient temperatures at which they grew were inferred from the crystal size. The deuterium concentrations and ambient temperatures generally show similar variations and the crystal data thereby provide a useful way of placing an absolute temperature scale against the deuterium values. Throughout most of their growth, the hailstones grew in the updraft between about the ambient temperature levels of –17 to –30°C. The air bubble analyses showed that the hailstones grew near the wet growth limit or slightly wet and heat balance considerations give values of 2–3 g m−3 for the effective liquid water concentrations. On the assumption that the median volume radius of the cloud droplets is 10 µm, the actual liquid water concentrations are then about 4 to 5.5 g m−3.

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Pavel Ya Groisman, Richard W. Knight, David R. Easterling, Thomas R. Karl, Gabriele C. Hegerl, and Vyacheslav N. Razuvaev

Abstract

Observed changes in intense precipitation (e.g., the frequency of very heavy precipitation or the upper 0.3% of daily precipitation events) have been analyzed for over half of the land area of the globe. These changes have been linked to changes in intense precipitation for three transient climate model simulations, all with greenhouse gas concentrations increasing during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and doubling in the later part of the twenty-first century. It was found that both the empirical evidence from the period of instrumental observations and model projections of a greenhouse-enriched atmosphere indicate an increasing probability of intense precipitation events for many extratropical regions including the United States. Although there can be ambiguity as to the impact of more frequent heavy precipitation events, the thresholds of the definitions of these events were raised here, such that they are likely to be disruptive. Unfortunately, reliable assertions of very heavy and extreme precipitation changes are possible only for regions with dense networks due to the small radius of correlation for many intense precipitation events.

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Sarah A. Tessendorf, Roelof T. Bruintjes, Courtney Weeks, James W. Wilson, Charles A. Knight, Rita D. Roberts, Justin R. Peter, Scott Collis, Peter R. Buseck, Evelyn Freney, Michael Dixon, Matthew Pocernich, Kyoko Ikeda, Duncan Axisa, Eric Nelson, Peter T. May, Harald Richter, Stuart Piketh, Roelof P. Burger, Louise Wilson, Steven T. Siems, Michael Manton, Roger C. Stone, Acacia Pepler, Don R. Collins, V. N. Bringi, M. Thurai, Lynne Turner, and David McRae

As a response to extreme water shortages in southeast Queensland, Australia, brought about by reduced rainfall and increasing population, the Queensland government decided to explore the potential for cloud seeding to enhance rainfall. The Queensland Cloud Seeding Research Program (QCSRP) was conducted in the southeast Queensland region near Brisbane during the 2008/09 wet seasons. In addition to conducting an initial exploratory, randomized (statistical) cloud seeding study, multiparameter radar measurements and in situ aircraft microphysical data were collected. This comprehensive set of observational platforms was designed to improve the physical understanding of the effects of both ambient aerosols and seeding material on precipitation formation in southeast Queensland clouds. This focus on gaining physical understanding, along with the unique combination of modern observational platforms utilized in the program, set it apart from previous cloud seeding research programs. The overarching goals of the QCSRP were to 1) determine the characteristics of local cloud systems (i.e., weather and climate), 2) document the properties of atmospheric aerosol and their microphysical effects on precipitation formation, and 3) assess the impact of cloud seeding on cloud microphysical and dynamical processes to enhance rainfall. During the course of the program, it became clear that there is great variability in the natural cloud systems in the southeast Queensland region, and understanding that variability would be necessary before any conclusions could be made regarding the impact of cloud seeding. This article presents research highlights and progress toward achieving the goals of the program, along with the challenges associated with conducting cloud seeding research experiments

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