Relationship between Ice Water Path and Downward Longwave Radiation for Clouds Optically Thin in the Infrared: Observations and Model Calculations

Taneil Uttal Wave Propagation Laboratory, NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, Colorado

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Sergey Y. Matrosov Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado. Boulder, Colorado

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Jack B. Snider Wave Propagation Laboratory, NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, Colorado

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Robert A. Kropfli Wave Propagation Laboratory, NOAA Environmental Research Laboratories, Boulder, Colorado

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Abstract

A vertically pointing 3.2-cm radar is used to observe altostratus and cirrus clouds as they pass overhead. Radar reflectivities are used in combination with an empirical Zi-IWC (ice water content) relationship developed by Sassen (1987) to parameterize IWC, which is then integrated to obtain estimates of ice water path (IWP). The observed dataset is segregated into all-ice and mixed-phase periods using measurements of integrated liquid water paths (LWP) detected by a collocated, dual-channel microwave radiometer. The IWP values for the all ice periods are compared to measurements of infrared (IR) downward fluxes measured by a collocated narrowband (9.95 − 11.43 um) IR radiometer, which results in scattergrams representing the observed dependence of [R fluxes on IWP. A two-strum model is used to calculate the infrared fluxes expected from ice clouds with boundary conditions specified by the actual clouds, and similar curves relating IWP and infrared fluxes are obtained. The model and observational results suggest that IWP is one of the primary controls on infrared thermal fluxes for ice clouds.

Abstract

A vertically pointing 3.2-cm radar is used to observe altostratus and cirrus clouds as they pass overhead. Radar reflectivities are used in combination with an empirical Zi-IWC (ice water content) relationship developed by Sassen (1987) to parameterize IWC, which is then integrated to obtain estimates of ice water path (IWP). The observed dataset is segregated into all-ice and mixed-phase periods using measurements of integrated liquid water paths (LWP) detected by a collocated, dual-channel microwave radiometer. The IWP values for the all ice periods are compared to measurements of infrared (IR) downward fluxes measured by a collocated narrowband (9.95 − 11.43 um) IR radiometer, which results in scattergrams representing the observed dependence of [R fluxes on IWP. A two-strum model is used to calculate the infrared fluxes expected from ice clouds with boundary conditions specified by the actual clouds, and similar curves relating IWP and infrared fluxes are obtained. The model and observational results suggest that IWP is one of the primary controls on infrared thermal fluxes for ice clouds.

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