Description: The lifecycle and radiative properties of clouds are highly sensitive to the phase of their hydrometeors (i.e., liquid or ice). Knowledge of cloud phase is essential for specifying the optical properties of clouds, or else, large errors can be introduced in the calculation of the cloud radiative fluxes. Current parameterizations of cloud water partition in liquid and ice based on temperature are characterized by large uncertainty (Curry et al., 1996; Hobbs and Rangno, 1998; Intriery et al., 2002). This is particularly important in high geographical latitudes and temperature ranges where both liquid droplets and ice crystal phases can exist (mixed-phase cloud). The mixture of phases has a large effect on cloud radiative properties, and the parameterization of mixed-phase clouds has a large impact on climate simulations (e.g., Gregory and Morris, 1996). Furthermore, the presence of both ice and liquid affects the macroscopic properties of clouds, including their propensity to precipitate. Despite their importance, mixed-phase clouds are severely understudied compared to the arguably simpler single-phase clouds. In-situ measurements in mixed-phase clouds are hindered due to aircraft icing, difficulties distinguishing hydrometeor phase, and discrepancies in methods for deriving physical quantities (Wendisch et al. 1996, Lawson et al. 2001). Satellite-based retrievals of cloud phase in high latitudes are often hindered by the highly reflecting ice-covered ground and persistent temperature inversions. From the ground, the retrieval of mixed-phase cloud properties has been the subject of extensive research over the past 20 years using polarization lidars (e.g., Sassen et al. 1990), dual radar wavelengths (e.g., Gosset and Sauvageot 1992; Sekelsky and McIntosh, 1996), and recently radar Doppler spectra (Shupe et al. 2004). Millimeter-wavelength radars have substantially improved our ability to observe non-precipitating clouds (Kollias et al., 2007) due to their excellent sensitivity that enables the detection of thin cloud layers and their ability to penetrate ...
Date: August 6, 2007
Creator: Luke,E. & Kollias, P.
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