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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
15 Feb 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Characterization of Arctic mixed-phase cloud properties at small scale and coupling with satellite remote sensing
Guillaume Mioche1,2, Olivier Jourdan1,2, Julien Delanoë3, Christophe Gourbeyre1,2, Guy Febvre1,2, Régis Dupuy1,2, Frédéric Szczap1,2, Alfons Schwarzenboeck1,2, and Jean-François Gayet1,2 1Université Clermont Auvergne, OPGC, Laboratoire de Météorologie Physique, F-63000 Clermont-Ferrand, France
2CNRS, UMR 6016, LaMP/OPGC, BP80026, 63177 Aubière, France
3Laboratoire Atmosphère, Milieux et Observations Spatiales, UVSQ/CNRS/UPMC-IPSL, 78035, Guyancourt, France
Abstract. This study aims to characterize the microphysical and optical properties of ice crystals and supercooled liquid droplets within low-level Arctic mixed-phase clouds (MPC). We compiled and analyzed cloud in situ measurements from 4 airborne campaigns (18 flights, 71 vertical profiles in MPC) over the Greenland Sea and the Svalbard region. Cloud phase discrimination and representative vertical profiles of number, size, mass and shapes of ice crystals and liquid droplets are assessed. The results show that the liquid phase dominates the upper part of the MPC with high concentration of small droplets (120 cm−3, 15&tinsp;μm), and averaged LWC around 0.2 g m−3. The ice phase is found everywhere within the MPC layers, but dominates the properties in the lower part of the cloud and below where ice crystals precipitate down to the surface. The analysis of the ice crystal morphology highlights that irregulars and rimed are the main particle habit followed by stellars and plates. We hypothesize that riming and condensational growth processes (including the Wegener-Bergeron-Findeisein mechanism) are the main growth mechanisms involved in MPC. The differences observed in the vertical profiles of MPC properties from one campaign to another highlight that large values of LWC and high concentration of smaller droplets are possibly linked to polluted situations which lead to very low values of ice crystal size and IWC. On the contrary, clean situations with low temperatures exhibit larger values of ice crystal size and IWC. Several parameterizations relevant for remote sensing or modeling are also determined, such as IWC (and LWC) – extinction relationship, ice and liquid integrated water paths, ice concentration and liquid water fraction according to temperature. Finally, 4 flights collocated with active remote sensing observations from CALIPSO and CloudSat satellites are specifically analyzed to evaluate the cloud detection and cloud thermodynamical phase DARDAR retrievals. This comparison is valuable to assess the sub-pixel variability of the satellite measurements as well as their shortcomings/performance near the ground.

Citation: Mioche, G., Jourdan, O., Delanoë, J., Gourbeyre, C., Febvre, G., Dupuy, R., Szczap, F., Schwarzenboeck, A., and Gayet, J.-F.: Characterization of Arctic mixed-phase cloud properties at small scale and coupling with satellite remote sensing, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.,, in review, 2017.
Guillaume Mioche et al.
Guillaume Mioche et al.


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Short summary
This paper is a study about the mixed-phase clouds frequently occurring in the Arctic region. It is based on airborne measurements. The main results highlight that these particular cloud are composed of liquid droplets at cloud top, and ice crystals below and precipitating down to the surface. This work may help to improve our knowledge of Arctic mixed phase clouds in order to better represent them in numerical prediction models. This work also allows the evaluation of satellite observations.
This paper is a study about the mixed-phase clouds frequently occurring in the Arctic region. It...