Measurements of Liquid Water Content in Winter Cloud Systems over the Sierra Nevada

D. Lamb Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada System, Reno 89507

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K. W. Nielsen Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada System, Reno 89507

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H. E. Klieforth Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada System, Reno 89507

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J. Hallett Desert Research Institute, University of Nevada System, Reno 89507

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Abstract

Investigations of the structure and organization of synoptic-scale storms over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range during two successive winters (1971–73) were made with a modified B-26 aircraft. Measurements of liquid water content, temperature and dew point were made along horizontal traverses in a vertical plane oriented roughly perpendicular to the main crest and extending from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento, Calif. It is shown that the spatial distribution of liquid water is linked to the gross terrain features, as is the surface distribution of precipitation. The main centers of cloud liquid water content tend to form 40–75 km upwind of the main crest in highly convective cells.

Abstract

Investigations of the structure and organization of synoptic-scale storms over the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range during two successive winters (1971–73) were made with a modified B-26 aircraft. Measurements of liquid water content, temperature and dew point were made along horizontal traverses in a vertical plane oriented roughly perpendicular to the main crest and extending from Lake Tahoe to Sacramento, Calif. It is shown that the spatial distribution of liquid water is linked to the gross terrain features, as is the surface distribution of precipitation. The main centers of cloud liquid water content tend to form 40–75 km upwind of the main crest in highly convective cells.

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