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  1. Abstract Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) waves are a frequent source of turbulence in stratiform precipitation systems over mountainous terrain. KH waves introduce large eddies into otherwise laminar flow, with updrafts and downdrafts generating small-scale turbulence. When they occur in-cloud, such dynamics influence microphysical processes that impact precipitation growth and fallout. Part I of this paper used dual-Doppler, 2D wind and reflectivity measurements from an airborne cloud radar to demonstrate the occurrence of KH waves in stratiform orographic precipitation systems and identified four mechanisms for triggering KH waves. In Part II, we use similar observations to explore the effects of KH wave updrafts and turbulence on cloud microphysics. Measurements within KH wave updrafts reveal the production of liquid water in otherwise ice-dominated clouds, which can contribute to snow generation or enhancement via depositional and accretional growth. Fallstreaks beneath KH waves contain higher ice water content, composed of larger and more numerous ice particles, suggesting that KH waves and associated turbulence may also increase ice nucleation. A Large-Eddy Simulation (LES), designed to model the microphysical response to the KH wave eddies in mixed phase cloud, shows that depositional and accretional growth can be enhanced in KH waves, resulting in more precipitation when compared tomore »a baseline simulation. While sublimation and evaporation occur in KH downdrafts, persistent supersaturation with respect to ice allows for net increase in ice mass. These modeling results and observations suggest that KH waves embedded in mixed-phase stratiform clouds may increase precipitation, although the quantitative impact remains uncertain.« less
  2. Abstract A dry-air intrusion induced by the tropopause folding split the deep cloud into two layers resulting in a shallow orographic cloud with a supercooled liquid cloud top at around −15°C and an ice cloud above it on 19 January 2017 during the Seeded and Natural Orographic Wintertime Clouds: The Idaho Experiment (SNOWIE). The airborne AgI seeding of this case was simulated by the WRF Weather Modification (WRF-WxMod) Model with different configurations. Simulations at different grid spacing, driven by different reanalysis data, using different model physics were conducted to explore the ability of WRF-WxMod to capture the properties of natural and seeded clouds. The detailed model–observation comparisons show that the simulation driven by ERA5 data, using Thompson–Eidhammer microphysics with 30% of the CCN climatology, best captured the observed cloud structure and supercooled liquid water properties. The ability of the model to correctly capture the wind field was critical for successful simulation of the seeding plume locations. The seeding plume features and ice number concentrations within them from the large-eddy simulations (LES) are in better agreement with observations than non-LES runs mostly due to weaker AgI dispersion associated with the finer grid spacing. Seeding effects on precipitation amount and impacted areasmore »from LES seeding simulations agreed well with radar-derived values. This study shows that WRF-WxMod is able to simulate and quantify observed features of natural and seeded clouds given that critical observations are available to validate the model. Observation-constrained seeding ensemble simulations are proposed to quantify the AgI seeding impacts on wintertime orographic clouds. Significance Statement Recent observational work has demonstrated that the impact of airborne glaciogenic seeding of orographic supercooled liquid clouds is detectable and can be quantified in terms of the extra ground precipitation. This study aims, for the first time, to simulate this seeding impact for one well-observed case. The stakes are high: if the model performs well in this case, then seasonal simulations can be conducted with appropriate configurations after validations against observations, to determine the impact of a seeding program on the seasonal mountain snowpack and runoff, with more fidelity than ever. High–resolution weather simulations inherently carry uncertainty. Within the envelope of this uncertainty, the model compares very well to the field observations.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  3. Abstract This observational study documents the consequences of a collision between two converging shallow atmospheric boundaries over the central Great Plains on the evening of 7 June 2015. This study uses data from a profiling airborne Raman lidar (the Compact Raman Lidar, or CRL) and other airborne and ground-based data collected during the Plains Elevated Convection At Night (PECAN) field campaign to investigate the collision between a weak cold front and the outflow from a MCS. The collision between these boundaries led to the lofting of high-CAPE, low-CIN air, resulting in deep convection, as well as an undular bore. Both boundaries behaved as density currents prior to collision. Because the MCS outflow boundary was denser and less deep than the cold-frontal airmass, the bore propagated over the latter. This bore was tracked by the CRL for about three hours as it traveled north over the shallow cold-frontal surface and evolved into a soliton. This case study is unique by using the high temporal and spatial resolution of airborne Raman lidar measurements to describe the thermodynamic structure of interacting boundaries and a resulting bore.
  4. Abstract The spatial distribution and magnitude of snowfall resulting from cloud seeding with silver iodide (AgI) is closely linked to atmospheric conditions, seeding operations, and dynamical, thermodynamical, and microphysical processes. Here, microphysical processes leading to ice and snow production are analyzed in orographic clouds for three cloud-seeding events, each with light or no natural precipitation and well-defined, traceable seeding lines. Airborne and ground-based radar observations are linked to in situ cloud and precipitation measurements to determine the spatiotemporal evolution of ice initiation, particle growth, and snow fallout in seeded clouds. These processes and surface snow amounts are explored as particle plumes evolve from varying amounts of AgI released, and within changing environmental conditions, including changes in liquid water content (LWC) along and downwind of the seeding track, wind speed, and shear. More AgI did not necessarily produce more liquid equivalent snowfall (LESnow). The greatest amount of LESnow, largest area covered by snowfall, and highest peak snowfall produced through seeding occurred on the day with the largest and most widespread occurrence of supercooled drizzle, highest wind shear, and greater LWC along and downwind of the seeding track. The day with the least supercooled drizzle and the lowest LWC downwind of themore »seeding track produced the smallest amount of LESnow through seeding. The stronger the wind was, the farther away the snowfall occurred from the seeding track.« less
  5. Abstract

    As part of the analysis following the Seeded and Natural Orographic Wintertime Storms (SNOWIE) project, the ice water content (IWC) in ice and mixed-phase clouds is retrieved from airborne Wyoming Cloud Radar (WCR) measurements aboard the University of Wyoming King Air (UWKA), which has a suite of integrated in situ IWC, optical array probes, and remote sensing measurements, and it provides a unique dataset for this algorithm development and evaluation. A sensitivity study with different idealized ice particle habits shows that the retrieved IWC with aggregate ice particle habit agrees the best with the in situ measurement, especially in ice or ice-dominated mixed-phase clouds with a correlation coefficient (rr) of 0.91 and a bias of close to 0. For mixed-phase clouds with ice fraction ratio less than 0.8, the variances of IWC estimates increase (rr = 0.76) and the retrieved mean IWC is larger than in situ IWC by a factor of 2. This is found to be related to the uncertainty of in situ measurements, the large cloud inhomogeneity, and the retrieval assumption uncertainty. The simulated reflectivity Ze and IWC relationships assuming three idealized ice particle habits and measured particle size distributions show that hexagonal columns with themore »same Ze have a lower IWC than aggregates, whose Ze–IWC relation is more consistent with the observed WCR Ze and in situ IWC relation in those clouds. The 2D stereo probe (2DS) images also indicate that ice particle habit transition occurs in orographic mixed-phase clouds; hence, the retrieved IWC assuming modified gamma particle size distribution (PSD) of aggregate particles tends to have a greater bias in this kind of clouds.

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  6. Climate change and population growth have increased demand for water in arid regions. For over half a century, cloud seeding has been evaluated as a technology to increase water supply; statistical approaches have compared seeded to nonseeded events through precipitation gauge analyses. Here, a physically based approach to quantify snowfall from cloud seeding in mountain cloud systems is presented. Areas of precipitation unambiguously attributed to cloud seeding are isolated from natural precipitation (<1 mm h−1). Spatial and temporal evolution of precipitation generated by cloud seeding is then quantified using radar observations and snow gauge measurements. This study uses the approach of combining radar technology and precipitation gauge measurements to quantify the spatial and temporal evolution of snowfall generated from glaciogenic cloud seeding of winter mountain cloud systems and its spatial and temporal evolution. The results represent a critical step toward quantifying cloud seeding impact. For the cases presented, precipitation gauges measured increases between 0.05 and 0.3 mm as precipitation generated by cloud seeding passed over the instruments. The total amount of water generated by cloud seeding ranged from 1.2 × 105m3(100 ac ft) for 20 min of cloud seeding, 2.4 × 105m3(196 ac ft) for 86 min of seeding tomore »3.4 x 105m3(275 ac ft) for 24 min of cloud seeding.

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  7. Abstract This paper reviews research conducted over the last six decades to understand and quantify the efficacy of wintertime orographic cloud seeding to increase winter snowpack and water supplies within a mountain basin. The fundamental hypothesis underlying cloud seeding as a method to enhance precipitation from wintertime orographic cloud systems is that a cloud’s natural precipitation efficiency can be enhanced by converting supercooled water to ice upstream and over a mountain range in such a manner that newly created ice particles can grow and fall to the ground as additional snow on a specified target area. The review summarizes the results of physical, statistical, and modeling studies aimed at evaluating this underlying hypothesis, with a focus on results from more recent experiments that take advantage of modern instrumentation and advanced computation capabilities. Recent advances in assessment and operations are also reviewed, and recommendations for future experiments, based on the successes and failures of experiments of the past, are given.
  8. Abstract There has been a recent wave of attention given to atmospheric bores in order to understand how they evolve and initiate and maintain convection during the night. This surge is attributable to data collected during the 2015 Plains Elevated Convection at Night (PECAN) field campaign. A salient aspect of the PECAN project is its focus on using multiple observational platforms to better understand convective outflow boundaries that intrude into the stable boundary layer and induce the development of atmospheric bores. The intent of this article is threefold: 1) to educate the reader on current and future foci of bore research, 2) to present how PECAN observations will facilitate aforementioned research, and 3) to stimulate multidisciplinary collaborative efforts across other closely related fields in an effort to push the limitations of prediction of nocturnal convection.
  9. Two high-resolution (4 km) regional climate simulations over a 10-yr period are conducted to study the changes in wintertime precipitation distribution across mountain ranges in the interior western United States (IWUS) in a warming climate. One simulation represents the current climate, and another represents an ~2050 climate using a pseudo–global warming approach. The climate perturbations are derived from the ensemble mean of 15 global climate models from phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). These simulations provide an estimate of average changes in wintertime orographic precipitation enhancement and finescale distribution across mountain ranges. The variability in these changes among CMIP5 models is quantified using statistical downscaling relations between orographic precipitation distribution and upstream conditions, developed in Part I. The CMIP5 guidance indicates a robust warming signal (~2 K) over the IWUS by ~2050 but minor changes in relative humidity and cloud-base height. The IWUS simulations reveal a widespread increase in precipitation on account of higher precipitation rates during winter storms in this warmer climate. This precipitation increase is most significant over the mountains rather than on the surrounding plains. The increase in precipitation rate is largely due to an increase in low-level cross-mountain moisture transport. The application ofmore »the statistical relations indicates that individual CMIP5 models disagree about the magnitude and distribution of orographic precipitation change in the IWUS, although most agree with the ensemble-mean-predicted orographic precipitation increase.

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