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Title: Graupel Precipitating From Thin Arctic Clouds With Liquid Water Paths Less Than 50 g m −2

Rimed precipitation growth can efficiently remove moisture and aerosols from the boundary layer, yet thin low‐level Arctic mixed‐phase clouds are generally thought to precipitate pristine and aggregated ice crystals. Here we present automated surface photographic measurements showing that only 34% of precipitation particles exhibit negligible riming and that graupel particlesin diameter commonly fall from clouds with liquid water paths less than 50 g m−2. Analyses indicate that significant riming enhancement can occur provided sustained updrafts of 0.4 m s−1, consistent with those measured in Arctic clouds. A Lagrangian numerical simulation that tracks falling particles suggests that similar updraft speeds can account for about one half of the observed riming enhancement. Riming enhancement appears particularly likely when weak temperature inversions are observed at cloud top, but a full explanation remains to be determined.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
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Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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