Numerical modeling of ice fog in interior Alaska using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model

AMS Citation:
Kim, C. K., M. Stuefer, C. G. Schmitt, A. J. Heymsfield, and G. Thompson, 2014: Numerical modeling of ice fog in interior Alaska using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 171, 1963-1982, doi:10.1007/s00024-013-0766-7.
Date:2014-08-01
Resource Type:article
Title:Numerical modeling of ice fog in interior Alaska using the Weather Research and Forecasting Model
Abstract: An ice microphysics parameterization scheme has been modified to better describe and understand ice fog formation. The modeling effort is based on observations in the Sub-Arctic Region of Interior Alaska, where ice fog occurs frequently during the cold season due to abundant water vapor sources and strong inversions existing near the surface at extremely low air temperatures. The microphysical characteristics of ice fog are different from those of other ice clouds, implying that the microphysical processes of ice should be changed in order to generate ice fog particles. Ice fog microphysical characteristics were derived with the NCAR Video Ice Particle Sampler during strong ice fog cases in the vicinity of Fairbanks, Alaska, in January and February 2012. To improve the prediction of ice fog in the Weather Research and Forecasting model, observational data were used to change particle size distribution properties and gravitational settling rates, as well as to implement a homogeneous freezing process. The newly implemented homogeneous freezing process compliments the existing heterogeneous freezing scheme and generates a higher number concentration of ice crystals than the original Thompson scheme. The size distribution of ice crystals is changed into a Gamma distribution with the shape factor of 2.0, using the observed size distribution. Furthermore, gravitational settling rates are reduced for the ice crystals since the crystals in ice fog do not precipitate in a similar manner when compared to the ice crystals of cirrus clouds. The slow terminal velocity plays a role in increasing the time scale for the ice crystals to settle to the surface. Sensitivity tests contribute to understanding the effects of water vapor emissions as an anthropogenic source on the formation of ice fog.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2014 Springer.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7q2417d
Publisher's Version: 10.1007/s00024-013-0766-7
Author(s):
  • ChangKi Kim
  • Martin Stuefer
  • Carl Schmitt - NCAR/UCAR
  • Andrew Heymsfield - NCAR/UCAR
  • Greg Thompson
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