Investigation of ice cloud microphysical properties of DCSs using aircraft in situ measurements during MC3E over the ARM SGP site

Jingyu Wang, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Six deep convective systems (DCSs) with a total of 5589 five-second samples and a range of temperatures from -41°C to 0°C during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) were selected to investigate the ice cloud microphysical properties of DCSs over the Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Southern Great Plains (SGP) site. The ice cloud measurements of the DCS cases were made by the University of North Dakota Citation II research aircraft, and the ice cloud properties were derived through the following processes. First, the instances of supercooled liquid water in the ice-dominated cloud layers of DCSs have been eliminated using multisensor detection, including the Rosemount Icing Detector, King and Cloud Droplet Probes, as well as 2DC and Cloud Imaging Probe images. Then the Nevzorov-measured ice water contents (IWCs) atmaximumdiameter Dmax<4000 µmare used as the best estimation to determine a new mass-dimensional relationship. Finally, the newly derived mass-dimensional relationship (a = 0.00365, b = 2.1) has been applied to a full spectrum of particle size distributions (PSDs, 120-30,000 µm) constructed from both 2DC and High-Volume Precipitation Spectrometer measurements to calculate the best-estimated IWCs of DCSs during MC3E. The averages of the total number concentrations (Nt), median mass diameter (Dm), maximum diameter (Dmax), and IWC from six selected cases are 0.035cm-3, 1666 µm, 8841 µm, and 0.45 gm-3, respectively. The gamma-type-size distributions are then generatedmatching the observed PSDs (120-30,000 µm), and the fitted gamma parameters are compared with the observed PSDs through multimoment assessments including first moment (Dm), third moment (IWC), and sixth moment (equivalent radar reflectivity, Ze). For application of observed PSDs to the remote sensing community, a series of empirical relationships between fitted parameters and Ze values has been derived, and the bullet rosette ice crystal backscattering relationship has been suggested for ground-based remote sensing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3533-3552
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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