Joint cloud water path and rainwater path retrievals from airborne ORACLES observations
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

For very narrow results

When looking for a specific result

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Document Data
Clear All
Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


Joint cloud water path and rainwater path retrievals from airborne ORACLES observations

Filetype[PDF-1.68 MB]


  • Journal Title:
    Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
  • Personal Author:
  • NOAA Program & Office:
  • Description:
    This study presents a new algorithm that combines W-band reflectivity measurements from the Airborne Precipitation Radar – third generation (APR-3) passive radiometric cloud optical depth and effective radius retrievals from the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) to estimate total liquid water path in warm clouds and identify the contributions from cloud water path (CWP) and rainwater path (RWP). The resulting CWP estimates are primarily determined by the optical depth input, although reflectivity measurements contribute ∼10 %–50 % of the uncertainty due to attenuation through the profile. Uncertainties in CWP estimates across all conditions are 25 % to 35 %, while RWP uncertainty estimates frequently exceed 100 %.

    Two-thirds of all radar-detected clouds observed during the ObseRvations of Aerosols above CLouds and their intEractionS (ORACLES) campaign that took place from 2016–2018 over the southeast Atlantic Ocean have CWP between 41 and 168 g m−2 and almost all CWPs (99 %) between 6 to 445 g m−2. RWP, by contrast, typically makes up a much smaller fraction of total liquid water path (LWP), with more than 70 % of raining clouds having less than 10 g m−2 of rainwater. In heavier warm rain (i.e., rain rate exceeding 40 mm h−1 or 1000 mm d−1), however, RWP is observed to exceed 2500 g m−2. CWP (RWP) is found to be approximately 30 g m−2 (7 g m−2) larger in unstable environments compared to stable environments. Surface precipitation is also more than twice as likely in unstable environments. Comparisons against in situ cloud microphysical probe data spanning the range of thermodynamic stability and meteorological conditions encountered across the southeast Atlantic basin demonstrate that the combined APR-3 and RSP dataset enable a robust joint cloud–precipitation retrieval algorithm to support future ORACLES precipitation susceptibility and cloud–aerosol–precipitation interaction studies.

  • Keywords:
  • Source:
    Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 5513–5532, 2021
  • DOI:
  • Document Type:
  • Rights Information:
    CC BY
  • Compliance:
  • Main Document Checksum:
  • Download URL:
  • File Type:

You May Also Like

Checkout today's featured content at

Version 3.26.1