Homogeneous Nucleation Rate for Highly Supercooled Cirrus Cloud Droplets

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  • 1 Department of Meteorology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Abstract

A mixed-phase hydrometer growth model has been applied to determining the nucleation mode and rate responsible for the glaciation of a highly supercooled liquid cloud studied jointly by ground-based polarization lidar and aircraft in situ probes. The cloud droplets were detected at the base of an orographically induced cirrus cloud at temperatures between −34.3° and −37.3°C. The vertical distribution above cloud base of two independent data quantities, the aircraft-measured water and ice particle concentrations and the lidar linear depolarization ratio, have been compared to model predictions for both the homogeneous and heterogeneous drop-freezing. modes. It is concluded that, although activated ice nuclei may have contributed to the glaciation of the cloud, homogeneous nucleation was the dominant mode. Accordingly, a homogeneous nucleation rate ∼106 times greater than that predicted by classical theory, but ∼103 times less than laboratory measurements would suggest is found to be appropriate at the measured cloud temperatures.

Abstract

A mixed-phase hydrometer growth model has been applied to determining the nucleation mode and rate responsible for the glaciation of a highly supercooled liquid cloud studied jointly by ground-based polarization lidar and aircraft in situ probes. The cloud droplets were detected at the base of an orographically induced cirrus cloud at temperatures between −34.3° and −37.3°C. The vertical distribution above cloud base of two independent data quantities, the aircraft-measured water and ice particle concentrations and the lidar linear depolarization ratio, have been compared to model predictions for both the homogeneous and heterogeneous drop-freezing. modes. It is concluded that, although activated ice nuclei may have contributed to the glaciation of the cloud, homogeneous nucleation was the dominant mode. Accordingly, a homogeneous nucleation rate ∼106 times greater than that predicted by classical theory, but ∼103 times less than laboratory measurements would suggest is found to be appropriate at the measured cloud temperatures.

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