Feeder-Cell Ingestion of Seeding Aerosol from Cloud Base Determined by Tracking Radar Chaff

View More View Less
  • 1 NOAA/ERL/Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado
© Get Permissions
Full access

Abstract

Questions of delivery, transport, and dispersion of cloud seeding aerosol in a convective feeder cloud are addressed by using radar chaff as a surrogate for aerosol and tracking it with circular-polarization radar. In a case study, a line source of chaff was released by an aircraft at the roots of a growing cloud flanking and feeding into a thunderstorm line. The chaff was tracked as it dispersed in the boundary layer and rose more than 3 km from the cloud base at +14°C to levels cold enough to nucleate ice-forming seeding aerosols. Quantitative measures of the rates of loft and dispersion, and the volume filling and dilution were obtained. The measurements permit examination of the hypotheses and potential efficacy of cloud-base seeding to increase rain and suppress hail. Notably, the problem of delivery, transport, and dispersion of cloud seeding aerosol is much the same as the air quality question of the nature and effect of cloud venting of the boundary layer, and the findings here apply in that context as well.

Abstract

Questions of delivery, transport, and dispersion of cloud seeding aerosol in a convective feeder cloud are addressed by using radar chaff as a surrogate for aerosol and tracking it with circular-polarization radar. In a case study, a line source of chaff was released by an aircraft at the roots of a growing cloud flanking and feeding into a thunderstorm line. The chaff was tracked as it dispersed in the boundary layer and rose more than 3 km from the cloud base at +14°C to levels cold enough to nucleate ice-forming seeding aerosols. Quantitative measures of the rates of loft and dispersion, and the volume filling and dilution were obtained. The measurements permit examination of the hypotheses and potential efficacy of cloud-base seeding to increase rain and suppress hail. Notably, the problem of delivery, transport, and dispersion of cloud seeding aerosol is much the same as the air quality question of the nature and effect of cloud venting of the boundary layer, and the findings here apply in that context as well.

Save