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H. Gerber and P. J. DeMott

Abstract

Correction factors C f are derived for ice-crystal volume and effective radius Re, measured by Forward Scattering Spectrometer Probe (FSSP) and Particulate Volume Monitor (PVM) that are known to overestimate both parameters for nonspherical particles. Correction factors are based on ice-crystal volume and the projected area of randomly oriented model ice crystals with column, rosette, capped-column, and dendrite habits described by Takano and Liou. In addition, C f are calculated for oblate and prolate spheroids. To test C f, both probes are compared to small, predominately solid hexagonal ice-crystal plates and columns generated in the Colorado State University (CSU) Dynamic Cloud Chamber (DCC). The tendency of heat released by the PVM (placed inside the chamber) to evaporate ice crystals and the smaller upper size range of the PVM than the size range of the FSSP caused large differences in the probes’ outputs for most comparisons in the DCC. Correction factors improved the accuracy of Re measured by the FSSP for the solid hexagonal crystals, and both probes produced similar results for the projected area and ice water content when crystal sizes fell within the probes’ size ranges. The modification for minimizing ice-crystal shattering and the application of C f for forward scatter probes such as the FSSP suggests the probes’ improved usefulness for measuring small ambient ice crystals.

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

Abstract

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

Abstract

Ice initiation by specific cloud seeding aerosols, quantified in laboratory studies, has been formulated for use in mesoscale numerical cloud models. This detailed approach, which explicitly represents artificial ice nuclei activation, is unique for mesoscale simulators of cloud seeding. This new scheme was applied in the simulation of an orographic precipitation event seeded with the specific aerosols on 18 December 1986 from the Sierra Cooperative Pilot Project using the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS). Total ice concentrations formed following seeding agreed well with observations. RAMS's three-dimensional results showed that the new seeding parameterization impacted the microphysical fields producing increased pristine ice crystal, aggregate, and graupel mass downstream of the seeded regions. Pristine ice concentration also increased as much as an order of magnitude in some locations due to seeding. Precipitation augmentation due to the seeding was 0.1–0.7 mm, similar to values inferred from the observations. Simulated precipitation enhancement occurred due to increased precipitation efficiency since no large precipitation deficits occurred in the simulation. These maxima were collocated with regions of supercooled liquid water where nucleation by man-made ice nucleus aerosols was optimized.

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

Abstract

Two new primary ice-nucleation parameterizations are examined in the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) cloud model via sensitivity tests on a wintertime precipitation event in the Sierra Nevada region. A model combining the effects of deposition and condensation-freezing nucleation is formulated based on data obtained from continuous-flow diffusion chambers. The data indicate an exponential variation of ice-nuclei concentrations with ice supersaturation reasonably independent of temperatures between −7° and −20°C. Predicted ice concentrations from these measurements exceed values predicted by the widely used temperatures dependent Fletcher approximation by as much as one order of magnitude at temperatures warmer than −20°C. A contact-freezing nucleation model is also formulated based on laboratory data gathered by various authors using techniques that isolated this nucleation mode. Predicted contact nuclei concentrations based on the newer measurements are as much as three orders of magnitude less than values estimated by Young's model, which has been widely used for predicted schemes.

Simulations of the orographic precipitation event over the Sierra Nevada indicate that the pristine ice fields are very sensitive to the changes in the ice-nucleation formulation, with the pristine ice field resulting from the new formulation comparing much better to the observed magnitudes and structure from the case study. Deposition-condensation-freezing nucleation dominates contact-freezing nucleation in the new scheme, except in the downward branch of the mountain wave, where contact freezing dominates in the evaporating cloud. Secondary ice production is more dominant at warm temperatures in the new scheme, producing more pristine ice crystals over the barrier. The old contact-freezing nucleation scheme overpredicts pristine ice-crystal concentrations, which depletes cloud water available for secondary ice production. The effect of the new parameterizations on the precipitating hydrometeors is substantial with nearly a 10% increase in precipitation across the domain. Graupel precipitation increased dramatically due to more cloud water available with the new scheme.

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P. R. Field, A. J. Heymsfield, B. J. Shipway, P. J. DeMott, K. A. Pratt, D. C. Rogers, J. Stith, and K. A. Prather

Abstract

Heterogeneous ice nucleation is a source of uncertainty in models that represent ice clouds. The primary goal of the Ice in Clouds Experiment–Layer Clouds (ICE-L) field campaign was to determine if a link can be demonstrated between ice concentrations and the physical and chemical characteristics of the ambient aerosol. This study combines a 1D kinematic framework with lee wave cloud observations to infer ice nuclei (IN) concentrations that were compared to IN observations from the same flights. About 30 cloud penetrations from six flights were modeled. The temperature range of the observations was −16° to −32°C. Of the three simplified ice nucleation representations tested (deposition, evaporation freezing, and condensation/immersion droplet freezing), condensation/immersion freezing reproduced the lee wave cloud observations best. IN concentrations derived from the modeling ranged from 0.1 to 13 L−1 compared to 0.4 to 6 L−1 from an IN counter. A better correlation was found between temperature and the ratio of IN concentration to the concentration of large aerosol (>500 nm) than between IN concentration and the large aerosol concentration or temperature alone.

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F. M. Ralph, K. A. Prather, D. Cayan, J. R. Spackman, P. DeMott, M. Dettinger, C. Fairall, R. Leung, D. Rosenfeld, S. Rutledge, D. Waliser, A. B. White, J. Cordeira, A. Martin, J. Helly, and J. Intrieri

Abstract

The variability of precipitation and water supply along the U.S. West Coast creates major challenges to the region’s economy and environment, as evidenced by the recent California drought. This variability is strongly influenced by atmospheric rivers (ARs), which deliver much of the precipitation along the U.S. West Coast and can cause flooding, and by aerosols (from local sources and transported from remote continents and oceans) that modulate clouds and precipitation. A better understanding of these processes is needed to reduce uncertainties in weather predictions and climate projections of droughts and floods, both now and under changing climate conditions.

To address these gaps, a group of meteorologists, hydrologists, climate scientists, atmospheric chemists, and oceanographers have created an interdisciplinary research effort, with support from multiple agencies. From 2009 to 2011 a series of field campaigns [California Water Service (CalWater) 1] collected atmospheric chemistry, cloud microphysics, and meteorological measurements in California and associated modeling and diagnostic studies were carried out. Based on the remaining gaps, a vision was developed to extend these studies offshore over the eastern North Pacific and to enhance land-based measurements from 2014 to 2018 (CalWater-2). The dataset and selected results from CalWater-1 are summarized here. The goals of CalWater-2, and measurements to date, are then described.

CalWater is producing new findings and exploring new technologies to evaluate and improve global climate models and their regional performance and to develop tools supporting water and hydropower management. These advances also have potential to enhance hazard mitigation by improving near-term weather prediction and subseasonal and seasonal outlooks.

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P. R. Field, R. P. Lawson, P. R. A. Brown, G. Lloyd, C. Westbrook, D. Moisseev, A. Miltenberger, A. Nenes, A. Blyth, T. Choularton, P. Connolly, J. Buehl, J. Crosier, Z. Cui, C. Dearden, P. DeMott, A. Flossmann, A. Heymsfield, Y. Huang, H. Kalesse, Z. A. Kanji, A. Korolev, A. Kirchgaessner, S. Lasher-Trapp, T. Leisner, G. McFarquhar, V. Phillips, J. Stith, and S. Sullivan

Abstract

Measured ice crystal concentrations in natural clouds at modest supercooling (temperature ~>−10°C) are often orders of magnitude greater than the number concentration of primary ice nucleating particles. Therefore, it has long been proposed that a secondary ice production process must exist that is able to rapidly enhance the number concentration of the ice population following initial primary ice nucleation events. Secondary ice production is important for the prediction of ice crystal concentration and the subsequent evolution of some types of clouds, but the physical basis of the process is not understood and the production rates are not well constrained. In November 2015 an international workshop was held to discuss the current state of the science and future work to constrain and improve our understanding of secondary ice production processes. Examples and recommendations for in situ observations, remote sensing, laboratory investigations, and modeling approaches are presented.

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J. Verlinde, J. Y. Harrington, G. M. McFarquhar, V. T. Yannuzzi, A. Avramov, S. Greenberg, N. Johnson, G. Zhang, M. R. Poellot, J. H. Mather, D. D. Turner, E. W. Eloranta, B. D. Zak, A. J. Prenni, J. S. Daniel, G. L. Kok, D. C. Tobin, R. Holz, K. Sassen, D. Spangenberg, P. Minnis, T. P. Tooman, M. D. Ivey, S. J. Richardson, C. P. Bahrmann, M. Shupe, P. J. DeMott, A. J. Heymsfield, and R. Schofield

The Mixed-Phase Arctic Cloud Experiment (M-PACE) was conducted from 27 September through 22 October 2004 over the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility (ACRF) on the North Slope of Alaska. The primary objectives were to collect a dataset suitable to study interactions between microphysics, dynamics, and radiative transfer in mixed-phase Arctic clouds, and to develop/evaluate cloud property retrievals from surface-and satellite-based remote sensing instruments. Observations taken during the 1977/98 Surface Heat and Energy Budget of the Arctic (SHEBA) experiment revealed that Arctic clouds frequently consist of one (or more) liquid layers precipitating ice. M-PACE sought to investigate the physical processes of these clouds by utilizing two aircraft (an in situ aircraft to characterize the microphysical properties of the clouds and a remote sensing aircraft to constraint the upwelling radiation) over the ACRF site on the North Slope of Alaska. The measurements successfully documented the microphysical structure of Arctic mixed-phase clouds, with multiple in situ profiles collected in both single- and multilayer clouds over two ground-based remote sensing sites. Liquid was found in clouds with cloud-top temperatures as cold as −30°C, with the coldest cloud-top temperature warmer than −40°C sampled by the aircraft. Remote sensing instruments suggest that ice was present in low concentrations, mostly concentrated in precipitation shafts, although there are indications of light ice precipitation present below the optically thick single-layer clouds. The prevalence of liquid down to these low temperatures potentially could be explained by the relatively low measured ice nuclei concentrations.

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J. Teixeira, S. Cardoso, M. Bonazzola, J. Cole, A. DelGenio, C. DeMott, C. Franklin, C. Hannay, C. Jakob, Y. Jiao, J. Karlsson, H. Kitagawa, M. Köhler, A. Kuwano-Yoshida, C. LeDrian, J. Li, A. Lock, M. J. Miller, P. Marquet, J. Martins, C. R. Mechoso, E. v. Meijgaard, I. Meinke, P. M. A. Miranda, D. Mironov, R. Neggers, H. L. Pan, D. A. Randall, P. J. Rasch, B. Rockel, W. B. Rossow, B. Ritter, A. P. Siebesma, P. M. M. Soares, F. J. Turk, P. A. Vaillancourt, A. Von Engeln, and M. Zhao

Abstract

A model evaluation approach is proposed in which weather and climate prediction models are analyzed along a Pacific Ocean cross section, from the stratocumulus regions off the coast of California, across the shallow convection dominated trade winds, to the deep convection regions of the ITCZ—the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment Cloud System Study/Working Group on Numerical Experimentation (GCSS/WGNE) Pacific Cross-Section Intercomparison (GPCI). The main goal of GPCI is to evaluate and help understand and improve the representation of tropical and subtropical cloud processes in weather and climate prediction models. In this paper, a detailed analysis of cloud regime transitions along the cross section from the subtropics to the tropics for the season June–July–August of 1998 is presented. This GPCI study confirms many of the typical weather and climate prediction model problems in the representation of clouds: underestimation of clouds in the stratocumulus regime by most models with the corresponding consequences in terms of shortwave radiation biases; overestimation of clouds by the 40-yr ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-40) in the deep tropics (in particular) with the corresponding impact in the outgoing longwave radiation; large spread between the different models in terms of cloud cover, liquid water path and shortwave radiation; significant differences between the models in terms of vertical cross sections of cloud properties (in particular), vertical velocity, and relative humidity. An alternative analysis of cloud cover mean statistics is proposed where sharp gradients in cloud cover along the GPCI transect are taken into account. This analysis shows that the negative cloud bias of some models and ERA-40 in the stratocumulus regions [as compared to the first International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP)] is associated not only with lower values of cloud cover in these regimes, but also with a stratocumulus-to-cumulus transition that occurs too early along the trade wind Lagrangian trajectory. Histograms of cloud cover along the cross section differ significantly between models. Some models exhibit a quasi-bimodal structure with cloud cover being either very large (close to 100%) or very small, while other models show a more continuous transition. The ISCCP observations suggest that reality is in-between these two extreme examples. These different patterns reflect the diverse nature of the cloud, boundary layer, and convection parameterizations in the participating weather and climate prediction models.

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T. Eidhammer, P. J. DeMott, A. J. Prenni, M. D. Petters, C. H. Twohy, D. C. Rogers, J. Stith, A. Heymsfield, Z. Wang, K. A. Pratt, K. A. Prather, S. M. Murphy, J. H. Seinfeld, R. Subramanian, and S. M. Kreidenweis

Abstract

The initiation of ice in an isolated orographic wave cloud was compared with expectations based on ice nucleating aerosol concentrations and with predictions from new ice nucleation parameterizations applied in a cloud parcel model. Measurements of ice crystal number concentrations were found to be in good agreement both with measured number concentrations of ice nuclei feeding the clouds and with ice nuclei number concentrations determined from the residual nuclei of cloud particles collected by a counterflow virtual impactor. Using lognormal distributions fitted to measured aerosol size distributions and measured aerosol chemical compositions, ice nuclei and ice crystal concentrations in the wave cloud were reasonably well predicted in a 1D parcel model framework. Two different empirical parameterizations were used in the parcel model: a parameterization based on aerosol chemical type and surface area and a parameterization that links ice nuclei number concentrations to the number concentrations of particles with diameters larger than 0.5 μm. This study shows that aerosol size distribution and composition measurements can be used to constrain ice initiation by primary nucleation in models. The data and model results also suggest the likelihood that the dust particle mode of the aerosol size distribution controls the number concentrations of the heterogeneous ice nuclei, at least for the lower temperatures examined in this case.

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