Radiometric Observations of Supercooled Liquid Water within a Split Front over the Sierra Nevada

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  • 1 Bureau of Reclamation, Auburn, CA 95603
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Abstract

A storm bearing close structural resemblance to a katafront was observed from the ground with microwave radiometry and a vertically pointing Ka-band radar over the Sierra Nevada of California. The onset and duration of supercooled liquid water was determined and matched to a split front model used to describe the synoptic features of a katafront. Results indicate that prior to the passage of the upper front no supercooled liquid water was observed. This portion of the storm provided the deepest cloud and coldest cloud tops. Supercooled liquid water was most prevalent after the upper front passage, and persisted until the suspected surface front passage. The duration of measured supercooled water was 16 hours.

This information broadens the knowledge regarding the presence of supercooled liquid water, and thus possible seeding potential, within winter storms so that treatment can be confined to the period of storms amenable to cloud seeding. Future studies may well confirm the ease with which these periods can be predicted on an operational basis in the Sierra Nevada.

Abstract

A storm bearing close structural resemblance to a katafront was observed from the ground with microwave radiometry and a vertically pointing Ka-band radar over the Sierra Nevada of California. The onset and duration of supercooled liquid water was determined and matched to a split front model used to describe the synoptic features of a katafront. Results indicate that prior to the passage of the upper front no supercooled liquid water was observed. This portion of the storm provided the deepest cloud and coldest cloud tops. Supercooled liquid water was most prevalent after the upper front passage, and persisted until the suspected surface front passage. The duration of measured supercooled water was 16 hours.

This information broadens the knowledge regarding the presence of supercooled liquid water, and thus possible seeding potential, within winter storms so that treatment can be confined to the period of storms amenable to cloud seeding. Future studies may well confirm the ease with which these periods can be predicted on an operational basis in the Sierra Nevada.

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