Retrievals of ice cloud microphysical properties of deep convective systems using radar measurements

Jingjing Tian, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Jingyu Wang, Cameron R. Homeyer, Greg M. McFarquhar, Jiwen Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study presents newly developed algorithms for retrieving ice cloud microphysical properties (ice water content (IWC) and median mass diameter (Dm)) for the stratiform rain and thick anvil regions of deep convective systems (DCSs) using Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) reflectivity and empirical relationships from aircraft in situ measurements. A typical DCS case (20 May 2011) during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) is selected as an example to demonstrate the 4-D retrievals. The vertical distributions of retrieved IWC are compared with previous studies and cloud-resolving model simulations. The statistics from six selected cases during MC3E show that the aircraft in situ derived IWC and Dm are 0.47 ± 0.29 g m-3 and 2.02 ± 1.3 mm, while the mean values of retrievals have a positive bias of 0.19 g m-3 (40%) and negative bias of 0.41 mm (20%), respectively. To evaluate the new retrieval algorithms, IWC and Dm are retrieved for other DCSs observed during the Bow Echo and Mesoscale Convective Vortex Experiment (BAMEX) using NEXRAD reflectivity and compared with aircraft in situ measurements. During BAMEX, a total of 63, 1 min collocated aircraft and radar samples are available for comparisons, and the averages of radar retrieved and aircraft in situ measured IWC values are 1.52 g m-3 and 1.25 g m-3 with a correlation of 0.55, and their averaged Dm values are 2.08 and 1.77 mm. In general, the new retrieval algorithms are suitable for continental DCSs during BAMEX, especially within stratiform rain and thick anvil regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10,820-10,839
JournalJournal of geophysical research
Issue number18
StatePublished - 2016

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Retrievals of ice cloud microphysical properties of deep convective systems using radar measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this