Airborne In-Situ Measurements of Aerosol and Cloud Microphysical Properties in Mixed-Phase Clouds Under Varying Conditions

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Jennifer M Comstock, Jiwen Fan, Jason M Tomlinson, Fan Mei, John Hubbe and Beat Schmid, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States
Cloud microphysical properties impact the interaction of clouds and radiation in the atmosphere, and can influence atmospheric circulations through changes in cloud phase. Characterizing the conditions that control phase changes and the microphysical properties of mixed-phase clouds is important for improving understanding of physical processes that influence cloud phase. We characterize the aerosol and cloud microphysical properties in relation to the atmospheric dynamic and thermodynamic conditions observed in mixed-phase clouds during several aircraft-based field experiments. The Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program’s Gulfstream-1 aircraft was used to sample aerosol and cloud properties in warm and cold clouds during several recent field experiments. We analyze in-situ observations from the CalWater and TCAP field campaigns to examine the variability of cloud properties (phase, hydrometeor size, ice and liquid water content, particle habit) with changes in aerosol, vertical velocity, and temperature. These measurements indicate that in addition to aerosol concentration, vertical velocity strength has important influence on cloud phase in mixed-phase cloud regimes.