Consistency test of precipitating ice cloud retrieval properties obtained from the observations of different instruments operating at Dome C (Antarctica)
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Consistency test of precipitating ice cloud retrieval properties obtained from the observations of different instruments operating at Dome C (Antarctica)

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  • Journal Title:
    Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
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    Selected case studies of precipitating ice clouds at Dome C (Antarctic Plateau) were used to test a new approach for the estimation of ice cloud reflectivity at 24 GHz (12.37 mm wavelength) using ground-based far infrared spectral measurements from the REFIR-PAD Fourier transform spectroradiometer and backscattering/depolarization lidar profiles. The resulting reflectivity was evaluated with the direct reflectivity measurements provided by a co-located micro rain radar (MRR) operating at 24 GHz, that was able to detect falling crystals with large particle size, typically above 600 µm. To obtain the 24 GHz reflectivity, we used the particle effective diameter and the cloud optical depth retrieved from the far infrared spectral radiances provided by REFIR-PAD and the tropospheric co-located backscattering lidar to calculate the modal radius and the intercept of the particle size distribution. These parameters spanned in the wide ranges between 570–2400 µm and 10−2–104 cm−5, respectively. The retrieved effective sizes and optical depths mostly varied in the ranges 70–250 µm and 0.1–5, respectively. From these parameters, the theoretical reflectivity at 24 GHz was obtained by integrating the size distribution over different cross sections for various habit crystals provided by Eriksson et al. (2018) databases. From the comparison with the radar reflectivity measurements, we found that the hexagonal column-like habits, the columnar crystal aggregates, and the 5/6 branches bullet rosettes showed the best agreement with the MRR observations. The dispersion coefficient of the crystal particle size distribution was assumed in the range 0–2 according to the temperature dependence found in previous studies. The retrieved values of the intercept and slope were found in good agreement with these studies. The presence of the inferred habits was confirmed by the crystal images taken by the ICE-CAMERA, operating in proximity of REFIR-PAD and the MRR. In particular, the occurrence of hexagonal column-like ice crystals was confirmed by the presence of 22∘ solar halos, detected by the HALO-CAMERA. The average crystal lengths obtained from the retrieved size distribution were also compared to those estimated from the ICE-CAMERA images. The agreement between the two results confirmed that the retrieved parameters of the particle size distributions correctly reproduced the observations.
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    Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 15(24), 7235-7258
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    CC BY
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