Comparative Study of Cloud Liquid Water and Rain Liquid Water Obtained From Microwave Radiometer and Micro Rain Radar Observations Over Central China During the Monsoon

Wengang Zhang, Guirong Xu, Baike Xi, Jing Ren, Xia Wan, Lingli Zhou, Chunguang Cui, Dongqiao Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We investigated the cloud liquid water (CLW) and rain liquid water (RLW) during weak precipitations (rain rate below 12 mm/h) using microwave radiometer and microrain radar measurements collected by the Integrative Monsoon Frontal Rainfall Experiment over central China in 2018. The CLW path increased sharply from 0.6 to 4.1 mm for precipitation clouds. RLW path presented a similar trend, although it had a larger correlation coefficient with rain rate. Precipitation efficiency reached up to ~50% and then clearly decreased as precipitation weakened. Because weak precipitation is mostly formed in stable nimbostratus, CLW content (CLWC) during precipitation tends to has a quasi-normal distribution with mode at 0.38 g/m3, whereas RLW content (RLWC) shows a positively skewed distribution with mode at 0.06 g/m3. Normalized CLWC initially increases then decreases with height in nonprecipitation clouds but varies slightly in precipitation clouds due to relatively monodispersed droplets in the weaker convective motion. CLWC derived from millimeter-wave cloud radar (MMCR) shows similar vertical distribution but with larger values. The mean normalized CLWCs are 0.06 and 0.38 g/m3 for nonprecipitation and precipitation clouds, respectively. RLWC varies slightly with height with a mean of 0.22 g/m3 because both the collision and breakup of raindrops are weak. A case study showed different distributions and vertical structures of CLWC and RLWC in various stages of precipitation. Thicker clouds result in larger CLWC and RLWC, which will cause greater rain rate. This qualitatively explains relationships among cloud thickness, CLW, RLW, and rain rate in precipitation during the monsoon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020JD032456
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Volume125
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 27 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cloud liquid water
  • distribution properties
  • monsoon
  • rain liquid water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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