Determination of the vertical distribution of in-cloud particle shape using SLDR-mode 35 GHz scanning cloud radar

Teisseire, Audrey; Seifert, Patric; Myagkov, Alexander; Bühl, Johannes; Radenz, Martin

In this study we present an approach that uses the polarimetric variable inline-formulaSLDR (slanted linear depolarization ratio) from a scanning polarimetric cloud radar MIRA-35 in the SLDR configuration, to derive the vertical distribution of particle shape (VDPS) between the top and base of mixed-phase cloud systems. The polarimetric parameter inline-formulaSLDR was selected for this study due to its strong sensitivity to shape and low sensitivity to the wobbling effect of particles at different antenna elevation angles. For the VDPS method, elevation scans from inline-formula90 to inline-formula30 elevation angle were deployed to estimate the vertical profile of the particle shape by means of the polarizability ratio, which is a measure of the density-weighted axis ratio. Results were obtained by retrieving the best fit between observed inline-formulaSLDR from 90 to 30inline-formula elevation angle and respective values simulated with a spheroidal scattering model. The applicability of the new method is demonstrated by means of three case studies of isometric, columnar, and plate-like hydrometeor shapes, respectively, which were obtained from measurements at the Mediterranean site of Limassol, Cyprus. The identified hydrometeor shapes are demonstrated to fit well to the cloud and thermodynamic conditions which prevailed at the time of observation. A fourth case study demonstrates a scenario where ice particle shapes tend to evolve from a pristine state at the cloud top toward a more isometric shape or less dense particles at the cloud base. Either aggregation or riming processes contribute to this vertical change of microphysical properties. The new height-resolved identification of hydrometeor shape and the potential of the VDPS method to derive its vertical distribution are helpful tools to understand complex processes such as riming or aggregation, which occur particularly in mixed-phase clouds.

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Teisseire, Audrey / Seifert, Patric / Myagkov, Alexander / et al: Determination of the vertical distribution of in-cloud particle shape using SLDR-mode 35 GHz scanning cloud radar. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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