Profiles of MBL Cloud and Drizzle Microphysical Properties Retrieved From Ground-Based Observations and Validated by Aircraft In Situ Measurements Over the Azores

Peng Wu, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Jingjing Tian, Dale M Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The profiles of marine boundary layer (MBL) cloud and drizzle microphysical properties are important for studying the cloud-to-rain conversion and growth processes in MBL clouds. However, it is challenging to simultaneously retrieve both cloud and drizzle microphysical properties within an MBL cloud layer using ground-based observations. In this study, methods were developed to first decompose drizzle and cloud reflectivity in MBL clouds from Atmospheric Radiation Measurement cloud radar reflectivity measurements and then simultaneously retrieve cloud and drizzle microphysical properties during the Aerosol and Cloud Experiments in the Eastern North Atlantic (ACE-ENA) campaign. These retrieved microphysical properties, such as cloud and drizzle particle size (rc and rm,d), their number concentration (Nc and Nd) and liquid water content (LWCc and LWCd), have been validated by aircraft in situ measurements during ACE-ENA (~158 hr of aircraft data). The mean surface retrieved (in situ measured) rc, Nc, and LWCc are 10.9 μm (11.8 μm), 70 cm−3 (60 cm−3), and 0.21 g m−3 (0.22 g m−3), respectively. For drizzle microphysical properties, the retrieved (in situ measured) rd, Nd, and LWCd are 44.9 μm (45.1 μm), 0.07 cm−3 (0.08 cm−3), and 0.052 g m−3 (0.066 g m−3), respectively. Treating the aircraft in situ measurements as truth, the estimated median retrieval errors are ~15% for rc, ~35% for Nc, ~30% for LWCc and rd, and ~50% for Nd and LWCd. The findings from this study will provide insightful information for improving our understanding of warm rain processes, as well as for improving model simulations. More studies are required over other climatic regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019JD032205
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Volume125
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 16 2020

Keywords

  • aircraft measurements
  • cloud and precipitation
  • ground-based observations
  • microphysics retrieval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Profiles of MBL Cloud and Drizzle Microphysical Properties Retrieved From Ground-Based Observations and Validated by Aircraft In Situ Measurements Over the Azores'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this