Snow size distribution parameterization for midlatitude and tropical ice clouds

AMS Citation:
Field, P. R., A. J. Heymsfield, and A. R. Bansemer, 2007: Snow size distribution parameterization for midlatitude and tropical ice clouds. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 64, 4346-4365, doi:10.1175/2007JAs2344.
Resource Type:article
Title:Snow size distribution parameterization for midlatitude and tropical ice clouds
Abstract: Many microphysical process rates involving snow are proportional to moments of the snow particle size distribution (PSD), and in this study a moment estimation parameterization applicable to both midlatitude and tropical ice clouds is proposed. To this end aircraft snow PSD data were analyzed from tropical anvils [Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission/Kwajelein Experiment (TRMM/KWAJEX), Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers-Florida Area Cirrus Experiment (CRYSTAL-FACE)] and midlatitude stratiform cloud [First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Research Experiment (FIRE), Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM)]. For half of the dataset, moments of the PSDs are computed and a parameterization is generated for estimating other PSD moments when the second moment (proportional to the ice water content when particle mass is proportional to size squared) and temperature are known. Subsequently the parameterization was tested with the other half of the dataset to facilitate an independent comparison. The parameterization for estimating moments can be applied to midlatitude or tropical clouds without requiring prior knowledge of the regime of interest. Rescaling of the tropical and midlatitude size distributions is presented along with fits to allow the user to recreate realistic PSDs given estimates of ice water content and temperature. The effects of using different time averaging were investigated and were found not to be adverse. Finally, the merits of a single-moment snow microphysics versus multimoment representations are discussed, and speculation on the physical differences between the rescaled size distributions from the Tropics and midlatitudes is presented.
Peer Review:Refereed
Copyright Information:Copyright 2007 American Meteorological Society (AMS). Permission to use figures, tables, and brief excerpts from this work in scientific and educational works is hereby granted provided that the source is acknowledged. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be "fair use" under Section 107 or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 USC, as revised by P.L. 94-553) does not require the Society's permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form on servers, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statements, requires written permission or license from the AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policies, available from the AMS at 617-227-2425 or Permission to place a copy of this work on this server has been provided by the AMS. The AMS does not guarantee that the copy provided here is an accurate copy of the published work.
OpenSky citable URL: ark:/85065/d7vx0gqd
Publisher's Version: 10.1175/2007JAs2344
  • Paul Field - NCAR/UCAR
  • Andrew Heymsfield - NCAR/UCAR
  • Aaron Bansemer - NCAR/UCAR
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