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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-345
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2019-345
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 08 Jul 2019

Research article | 08 Jul 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Small Ice Particles at Slightly Supercooled Temperatures in Tropical Maritime Convection

Gary Lloyd1,2, Thomas Choularton1, Keith Bower1, Jonathan Crosier1,2, Martin Gallagher1, Michael Flynn1, James Dorsey1,2, Dantong Liu1, Jonathan W. Taylor1, Oliver Schlenczek3,4, Jacob Fugal3,5, Stephan Borrmann3, Richard Cotton6, Paul Field6,7, and Alan Blyth2 Gary Lloyd et al.
  • 1Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Manchester, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
  • 2National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
  • 3Institute for Atmospheric Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, and Particle Chemistry Department, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Mainz, Germany
  • 4Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Göttingen, Germany
  • 5SeeReal Technologies, Dresden, Germany
  • 6Met Office, Exeter, UK
  • 7School of Earth and Environment, Universityof Leeds, Leeds

Abstract. In this paper we show that the origin of the ice phase in tropical cumulus clouds over the sea may occur by primary ice nucleation of small crystals at temperatures just between 0 and −5 °C. This was made possible through use of a holographic instrument able to image cloud particles at very high resolution and small size (6 µm). The environment in which the observations were conducted was notable for the presence of desert dust advected over the ocean from the Sahara. However, there is no laboratory evidence to suggest that these dust particles can act as ice nuclei at temperatures warmer than about −10 °C, the zone in which the first ice was observed in these clouds. The small ice particles were observed to grow rapidly by vapour diffusion, riming, and possibly through collisions with supercooled raindrops, causing these to freeze and potentially shatter. This in turn leads to the further production of secondary ice in these clouds. Hence, although the numbers of primary ice particles are small, they are very effective in initiating the rapid glaciation of the cloud, altering the dynamics and precipitation production processes.

Gary Lloyd et al.
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