An Aircraft And Radar Based Analysis Of Cloud And Precipitation Microphysics In Mid-Latitude Continental Clouds

Monday, 15 December 2014
Subhashree Mishra1,2, Matt Kumjian3, Aaron Bansemer4, Scott E Giangrande5, Alexander Ryzhkov1,2 and Tami Toto5, (1)National Severe Storms Lab Norman, Norman, OK, United States, (2)Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, Norman, OK, United States, (3)Pennsylvania State University Main Campus, Meteorology, University Park, PA, United States, (4)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States, (5)Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, United States
An observational analysis of precipitation microphysics was conducted using data obtained during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E) that took place around the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) site in Lamont, Oklahoma from April 22- June 6, 2011. MC3E was a collaborative campaign led by the National Aeronautic and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission and the U.S. Department of Energy ARM program.

MC3E provided a unique opportunity to compare in-situ data from aircraft based microphysical probes with data from polarimetric radars in the radar bright band region or melting layer. One of the primary objectives of this study was to understand how riming and aggregation affect polarimetric signatures. In depth case study analysis of cloud and precipitation microphysics was performed for two specific cases, April 27th, 2011 (A27) and May 20th, 2011 (M20). Both these cases provided coincident aircraft and radar data in extensive stratiform cloud regions.

Measurements from the University of North Dakota (UND) Citation aircraft and polarimetric data from the ARM CSAPR data reveal interesting details of cloud scale processes. Observations based on data from cloud probes (2DC, CIP and HVPS) along with in-situ observations of environmental variables provide remarkable details of particle growth and cloud dynamics for both case studies. For the A27 case study, UND aircraft measurements from two successive spiral profiles through the stratiform cloud region showed a transition from a riming dominated region to an aggregation dominated region. This is supported by polarimetric data from the C-Band ARM Precipitation Radar (CSAPR ). An extensive region of trailing stratiform precipitation was sampled in the M20 case study, where the aggregation, melting, and evaporation processes were measured in detail with the in-situ microphysical instruments. Latest findings from MC3E based on this combined aircraft and polarimetric radar study will be presented at the conference.