The Characteristics and Distribution of Cloud Water over the Mountains of Northern Colorado during Wintertime Storms. Part II: Spatial Distribution and Microphysical Characteristics

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523
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Abstract

The Physical and microphysical structure of the supercooled water fields in wintertime storms over the Park Range of the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains is examined using aircraft and ground-based measurements. Cloud top, cloud base, and zones of strong orographic lift are identified as regions in stratiform systems where supercooled water production can occur. Cloud systems over Colorado's Park Range were found to have low droplet concentrations (≪300 cm−3). In clouds with the lowest droplet concentrations (<100 cm−3), broad droplet spectra were consistently observed. Significant numbers of large (<20 μm) droplets were present in these cases.

The data presented here and in Part I are used to construct conceptual models of the structure and evolution of the liquid water fields in 1) shallow cloud systems with warm cloud tops, 2) deep stratiform clouds with cold tops, and 3) deep convective regions.

Abstract

The Physical and microphysical structure of the supercooled water fields in wintertime storms over the Park Range of the northern Colorado Rocky Mountains is examined using aircraft and ground-based measurements. Cloud top, cloud base, and zones of strong orographic lift are identified as regions in stratiform systems where supercooled water production can occur. Cloud systems over Colorado's Park Range were found to have low droplet concentrations (≪300 cm−3). In clouds with the lowest droplet concentrations (<100 cm−3), broad droplet spectra were consistently observed. Significant numbers of large (<20 μm) droplets were present in these cases.

The data presented here and in Part I are used to construct conceptual models of the structure and evolution of the liquid water fields in 1) shallow cloud systems with warm cloud tops, 2) deep stratiform clouds with cold tops, and 3) deep convective regions.

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