Microphysical view of development and ice production of mid-latitude stratocumulus during an extratropical cyclone

Du, Yuanmou; Liu, Dantong; Zhao, Delong; Huang, Mengyu; Tian, Ping; Wen, Dian; Xiao, Wei; Zhou, Wei; Pan, Baiwan; Zuo, Dongfei; Liu, Xiange; Jing, Yingying; Zhang, Rong; Sheng, Jiujiang; Wang, Fei; Huang, Yu; Chen, Yunbo; Ding, Deping

The microphysical properties associated with the ice production importantly determine the precipitation rate of clouds. In this study, the microphysical properties including the size distribution and particle morphology of water and ice for stratocumulus during an extratropical cyclone over the northern China were in-situ characterized. Stages of cloud were investigated including young cells rich of liquid water, developing and mature stages with high number concentration of ice particles ( Nice). The Nice could reach 300 L -1 at the mature stage, about two orders of magnitudes higher than the primary ice number concentration calculated from ice nucleation. This high Nice occurred at about −5 to −12 °C, spanning the temperature region of Hallett-Mossop process and possible other mechanisms for the secondary ice production (SIP). The Nice was positively associated with the number concentrations of large graupel with diameter ( d) > 250 μm and large supercooled droplet ( d > 50 μm). The SIP rate was 0.005-1.8 L -1s -1 derived from the measured Nice with known ice growth rate between two sizes. The SIP rate could be produced by a simplified collision-coalescence model within an uncertainty factor of 5, by considering the collection of large droplets by graupel. The collection efficiency between was found to increase when the size of droplet was closer to graupel which may improve the agreement between measurement and model. Importantly, the overall Nice was found to be highly related to the distance to cloud-top (DCT). The level with larger DCT had more abundant rimmed graupels falling from the above level, which promoted the coalescence processes between graupels and droplets, producing a higher fraction of smaller ice through SIP. This seeder-feeder process extended the avalanche SIP at lower temperature up to −14 °C beyond the temperature region of Hallett-Mossop process. The results illustrated the microphysical properties of clouds with convective cells under different stages, which will improve the understanding of the key processes in controlling the cloud glaciation and precipitation process.

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Du, Yuanmou / Liu, Dantong / Zhao, Delong / et al: Microphysical view of development and ice production of mid-latitude stratocumulus during an extratropical cyclone. 2024. Copernicus Publications.

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