Radiative Processes in Upper Tropospheric Mixed-Phase Clouds

Douglas A. Wesley Atmospheric Science Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Stephen K. Cox Atmospheric Science Department, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado

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Abstract

The diffusional mass evolution of hydrometeors in upper tropospheric clouds for various radiative conditions in the cloud and for varying ambient moisture Supply is simulated using a time dependent microphysical model. Radiation can play an important role in this mass evolution when only one phase is present. When both liquid droplets and ice crystals are situated in a typical upper tropospheric environment and the moisture supply is limited, radiation produces only a minor effect on the mass evolution of the hydrometeors. In these cases ice crystals grow quickly at the expense of the droplets and the droplets evaporate within several minutes, even under water supersaturation conditions. Radiation does not significantly influence the evaporation rates of the droplets in the coexisting cases. In the absence of ice crystals and under certain radiative conditions, the droplets can evaporate when the environment is supersaturated.

Abstract

The diffusional mass evolution of hydrometeors in upper tropospheric clouds for various radiative conditions in the cloud and for varying ambient moisture Supply is simulated using a time dependent microphysical model. Radiation can play an important role in this mass evolution when only one phase is present. When both liquid droplets and ice crystals are situated in a typical upper tropospheric environment and the moisture supply is limited, radiation produces only a minor effect on the mass evolution of the hydrometeors. In these cases ice crystals grow quickly at the expense of the droplets and the droplets evaporate within several minutes, even under water supersaturation conditions. Radiation does not significantly influence the evaporation rates of the droplets in the coexisting cases. In the absence of ice crystals and under certain radiative conditions, the droplets can evaporate when the environment is supersaturated.

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