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Title: Ice Crystal Size Distributions in Tropical Mesoscale Convective Systems in the Vicinity of Darwin, Australia: Results from the HAIC/HIWC Campaign

Total ice water content (IWC) derived from an isokinetic evaporator probe and ice crystal particle size distributions (PSDs) measured by a two-dimensional stereo probe and precipitation imaging probe installed on an aircraft during the 2014 European High Altitude Ice Crystals–North American High IWC field campaign (HAIC/HIWC) were used to characterize regions of high IWC consisting mainly of small ice crystals (HIWC_S) with IWC ≥ 1.0 g m−3and median mass diameter (MMD) < 0.5 mm. A novel fitting routine developed to automatically determine whether a unimodal, bimodal, or trimodal gamma distribution best fits a PSD was used to compare characteristics of HIWC_S and other PSDs (e.g., multimodality, gamma fit parameters) for HIWC_S simulations. The variation of these characteristics and bulk properties (MMD, IWC) was regressed with temperature, IWC, and vertical velocity. HIWC_S regions were most pronounced in updraft cores. The three modes of the PSD reveal different dominant processes contributing to ice growth: nucleation for maximum dimensionD< 0.15 mm, diffusion for 0.15 <D< 1.0 mm, and aggregation forD> 1.0 mm. The frequency of trimodal distributions increased with temperature. The volumes of equally plausible parameters derived in the phase space of gamma fit parameters increased with temperature for unimodal distributions and, for temperatures less than −27°C, for multimodal distributions. Bimodal distributions with 0.4 mm in the larger mode were most common in updraft cores and HIWC_S regions; bimodal distributions with 0.4 mm in the smaller mode were least common in convective cores.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
American Meteorological Society
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Medium: X Size: p. 2147-2164
p. 2147-2164
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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