| Understanding rapid changes in phase partitioning between cloud liquid and ice in stratiform mixed-phase clouds: An Arctic Case Study - :14560 | Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)
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Understanding rapid changes in phase partitioning between cloud liquid and ice in stratiform mixed-phase clouds: An Arctic Case Study
  • Published Date:
    2016
  • Source:
    Mon. Wea. Rev.
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Understanding rapid changes in phase partitioning between cloud liquid and ice in stratiform mixed-phase clouds: An Arctic Case Study
Details:
  • Description:
    Understanding phase transitions in mixed-phase clouds is of great importance because hydrometeor phase controls the lifetime and radiative effects of clouds. In high latitudes, these cloud radiative effects have a crucial impact on the surface energy budget and thus on the evolution of the ice cover. For a springtime low-level mixed-phase stratiform cloud case from Barrow, Alaska, a unique combination of instruments and retrieval methods is combined with multiple modeling perspectives to determine key processes that control cloud phase partitioning. The interplay of local cloud-scale vs. large-scale processes is considered. Rapid changes in phase partitioning were found to be caused by several main factors. Major influences were the large-scale advection of different airmasses with different aerosol concentrations and humidity content; cloud-scale processes such as a change in the thermodynamical coupling state; and local-scale dynamics influencing the residence time of ice particles. Other factors such as radiative shielding by a cirrus and the influence of the solar cycle were found to only play a minor role for the specific case study (11-12 March 2013). For an even better understanding of cloud phase transitions, observations of key aerosol parameters such as profiles of cloud condensation nucleus and ice nucleus concentration are desirable.

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