Characteristics through the Melting Layer of Stratiform Clouds

Ronald E. Stewart Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071

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John D. Marwitz Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071

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John C. Pace Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071

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Richard E. Carbone National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307

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Abstract

Thermodynamic and hydrometeor measurements from an aircraft flown through the melting layer of stratiform clouds over the California Valley are discussed and are compared with radar observations. An isothermal layer ∼200 m thick existed at 0°C, and radar bright bands up to 36 dB(Ze) were measured. The largest concentrations of ice particles occurred near −5°C and snowflakes melted by ∼2°C. Aggregation, and possibly ice multiplication, contributed to the characteristics of the radar bright band.

Abstract

Thermodynamic and hydrometeor measurements from an aircraft flown through the melting layer of stratiform clouds over the California Valley are discussed and are compared with radar observations. An isothermal layer ∼200 m thick existed at 0°C, and radar bright bands up to 36 dB(Ze) were measured. The largest concentrations of ice particles occurred near −5°C and snowflakes melted by ∼2°C. Aggregation, and possibly ice multiplication, contributed to the characteristics of the radar bright band.

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