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Philip R. A. Brown

Abstract

A technique for the measurement of the ice water content (IWC) of cirrus clouds is described. The IWC is obtained by the measurement of the total water content (TWC) and the subtraction of the saturation specific humidity with respect to ice at the ambient pressure and temperature. The method is independent of the measurement of the crystal size spectrum and also of any assumptions about the bulk densities of various crystal habits. Examples of IWC measurements made during the International Cirrus Experiment are presented and compared with conventional measurements from a 2D optical array probe. The prime sources of error are the accuracy of the calibration of the TWC probe and the occurrence of subsaturated air, which invalidates one of the main principles of the technique.

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Philip R. A. Brown

Abstract

The use of the holographic cloud particle imaging system developed by the Cloud Physics Branch of the Meteorological Office and carried on the C-130 Hercules aircraft of the Meteorological Research Flight (MRF) has hitherto been limited by the extremely labor intensive data extraction process. A new image reconstruction system has now been developed that enables numerous holograms from a single flight to be analyzed. A brief description of this system is given, and some of its uses and limitations are demonstrated by examples of both droplet and ice-crystal data. In each case, the holographic data are compared with those from what are now conventional cloud microphysical probes, principally the ASSP and 2-D Optical Array Probe. Results show that the holographic system can measure gross features of the droplet size spectrum in conditions when the ASSP data may be unreliable. Ice crystal measurements confirm the ability of the holographic technique to produce data down to sizes of about 60 μm, well below the practical limit for the 2-D Cloud probe. Holographic ice concentrations appear to be systematically larger than those from the 2-D, typically by a factor of about half an order of magnitude. Some possible sources of error in each system have been examined but the exact cause of the discrepancy remains unproven. The relative unambiguity of the holographic sample volume suggests that this system will give the most reliable results, particularly for columns.

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Philip R. A. Brown
and
Peter N. Francis

Abstract

This note describes an improved method for the measurement of the ice water content (IWC) of cirrus cloud using a total water content probe. A previous version of this technique assumed that the air in cloud-containing regions was saturated with respect to ice. This assumption has now been replaced with measurements of the water vapor content from a fast-response Lyman-α fluorescence water vapor sensor. The improved measurement of the vapor phase resolves anomalies in the earlier measurements that were due to the assumption of saturation with respect to ice everywhere within cloud. The comparison of IWC measurements made by this new method with those from a 2D optical array probe is greatly improved. The new measurements may now be used to provide much more stringent tests of the algorithms used for the derivation of crystal mass from measured size in 2D probe data.

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Jean-François Gayet
,
Philip R. A. Brown
, and
Frank Albers

Abstract

During a preparatory experiment (PREICE) for the field campaign of the International Cirrus Experiment (ICE), six different Particle Measuring Systems (PMS) 2D-C probes belonging to five research organizations were intercompared. Three of these probes were original versions (2D-C), the three others being updated instruments (2D2-C version). The comparisons were performed using data obtained during flights in various types of warm and glaciated clouds.

The probe-by-probe comparisons show that relative particle-size response is in good agreement for all the probes and a variety of particle shapes. Similarly, measurements of the mean volume particle size agree to within about 10%. There are, however, noticeable discrepancies up to a factor of about 1.5 in values of the particle concentration. This can lead to similar large uncertainties in values of derived parameters, such as ice water content (IWC) and extinction coefficient. These differences are found to be related primarily to the probe version. the updated 2D2-C instruments appear to detect some 50% more images than the original version (2D-C).

Large differences may also be obtained when two different but common methods of calculation of the sample time are applied to data from a single probe. This appears to be related to timing errors within the probe data stream. There is a need for the standardization of processing schemes, where possible, in order to reduce the uncertainties in results obtained during multiaircraft cooperative experiments.

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Robin J. Hogan
,
Lin Tian
,
Philip R. A. Brown
,
Christopher D. Westbrook
,
Andrew J. Heymsfield
, and
Jon D. Eastment

Abstract

The assumed relationship between ice particle mass and size is profoundly important in radar retrievals of ice clouds, but, for millimeter-wave radars, shape and preferred orientation are important as well. In this paper the authors first examine the consequences of the fact that the widely used “Brown and Francis” mass–size relationship has often been applied to maximum particle dimension observed by aircraft D max rather than to the mean of the particle dimensions in two orthogonal directions D mean, which was originally used by Brown and Francis. Analysis of particle images reveals that D max ≃ 1.25D mean, and therefore, for clouds for which this mass–size relationship holds, the consequences are overestimates of ice water content by around 53% and of Rayleigh-scattering radar reflectivity factor by 3.7 dB. Simultaneous radar and aircraft measurements demonstrate that much better agreement in reflectivity factor is provided by using this mass–size relationship with D mean. The authors then examine the importance of particle shape and fall orientation for millimeter-wave radars. Simultaneous radar measurements and aircraft calculations of differential reflectivity and dual-wavelength ratio are presented to demonstrate that ice particles may usually be treated as horizontally aligned oblate spheroids with an axial ratio of 0.6, consistent with them being aggregates. An accurate formula is presented for the backscatter cross section apparent to a vertically pointing millimeter-wave radar on the basis of a modified version of Rayleigh–Gans theory. It is then shown that the consequence of treating ice particles as Mie-scattering spheres is to substantially underestimate millimeter-wave reflectivity factor when millimeter-sized particles are present, which can lead to retrieved ice water content being overestimated by a factor of 4.

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Steven J. Abel
,
Ian A. Boutle
,
Kirk Waite
,
Stuart Fox
,
Philip R. A. Brown
,
Richard Cotton
,
Gary Lloyd
,
Tom W. Choularton
, and
Keith N. Bower

Abstract

Aircraft observations in a cold-air outbreak to the north of the United Kingdom are used to examine the boundary layer and cloud properties in an overcast mixed-phase stratocumulus cloud layer and across the transition to more broken open-cellular convection. The stratocumulus cloud is primarily composed of liquid drops with small concentrations of ice particles and there is a switch to more glaciated conditions in the shallow cumulus clouds downwind. The rapid change in cloud morphology is accompanied by enhanced precipitation with secondary ice processes becoming active and greater thermodynamic gradients in the subcloud layer. The measurements also show a removal of boundary layer accumulation mode aerosols via precipitation processes across the transition that are similar to those observed in the subtropics in pockets of open cells. Simulations using a convection-permitting (1.5-km grid spacing) regional version of the Met Office Unified Model were able to reproduce many of the salient features of the cloud field although the liquid water path in the stratiform region was too low. Sensitivity studies showed that ice was too active at removing supercooled liquid water from the cloud layer and that improvements could be made by limiting the overlap between the liquid water and ice phases. Precipitation appears to be the key mechanism responsible for initiating the transition from closed- to open-cellular convection by decoupling the boundary layer and depleting liquid water from the stratiform cloud.

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Brian J. Butterworth
,
Ankur R. Desai
,
Philip A. Townsend
,
Grant W. Petty
,
Christian G. Andresen
,
Timothy H. Bertram
,
Eric L. Kruger
,
James K. Mineau
,
Erik R. Olson
,
Sreenath Paleri
,
Rosalyn A. Pertzborn
,
Claire Pettersen
,
Paul C. Stoy
,
Jonathan E. Thom
,
Michael P. Vermeuel
,
Timothy J. Wagner
,
Daniel B. Wright
,
Ting Zheng
,
Stefan Metzger
,
Mark D. Schwartz
,
Trevor J. Iglinski
,
Matthias Mauder
,
Johannes Speidel
,
Hannes Vogelmann
,
Luise Wanner
,
Travis J. Augustine
,
William O. J. Brown
,
Steven P. Oncley
,
Michael Buban
,
Temple R. Lee
,
Patricia Cleary
,
David J. Durden
,
Christopher R. Florian
,
Kathleen Lantz
,
Laura D. Riihimaki
,
Joseph Sedlar
,
Tilden P. Meyers
,
David M. Plummer
,
Eliceo Ruiz Guzman
,
Elizabeth N. Smith
,
Matthias Sühring
,
David D. Turner
,
Zhien Wang
,
Loren D. White
, and
James M. Wilczak

Abstract

The Chequamegon Heterogeneous Ecosystem Energy-Balance Study Enabled by a High-Density Extensive Array of Detectors 2019 (CHEESEHEAD19) is an ongoing National Science Foundation project based on an intensive field campaign that occurred from June to October 2019. The purpose of the study is to examine how the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) responds to spatial heterogeneity in surface energy fluxes. One of the main objectives is to test whether lack of energy balance closure measured by eddy covariance (EC) towers is related to mesoscale atmospheric processes. Finally, the project evaluates data-driven methods for scaling surface energy fluxes, with the aim to improve model–data comparison and integration. To address these questions, an extensive suite of ground, tower, profiling, and airborne instrumentation was deployed over a 10 km × 10 km domain of a heterogeneous forest ecosystem in the Chequamegon–Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin, United States, centered on an existing 447-m tower that anchors an AmeriFlux/NOAA supersite (US-PFa/WLEF). The project deployed one of the world’s highest-density networks of above-canopy EC measurements of surface energy fluxes. This tower EC network was coupled with spatial measurements of EC fluxes from aircraft; maps of leaf and canopy properties derived from airborne spectroscopy, ground-based measurements of plant productivity, phenology, and physiology; and atmospheric profiles of wind, water vapor, and temperature using radar, sodar, lidar, microwave radiometers, infrared interferometers, and radiosondes. These observations are being used with large-eddy simulation and scaling experiments to better understand submesoscale processes and improve formulations of subgrid-scale processes in numerical weather and climate models.

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