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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-16
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-16
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 03 Apr 2020

Submitted as: research article | 03 Apr 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Towards the connection between snow microphysics and melting layer: Insights from multi-frequency and dual-polarization radar observations during BAECC

Haoran Li1, Jussi Tiira1, Annakaisa von Lerber2, and Dmitri Moisseev1,2 Haoran Li et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research/Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. In stratiform rainfall, the melting layer is often visible in radar observations as an enhanced reflectivity band, the so-called bright band. Despite the ongoing debate on the exact microphysical processes taking place in the melting layer and on how they translate into radar measurements, both model simulations and observations indicate that the radar-measured melting layer properties are influenced by snow microphysical processes that take place above it. There is still, however, a lack of comprehensive observations to link the two. To advance our knowledge of precipitation formation in ice clouds and provide an additional constraint on the retrieval of ice cloud microphysical properties, we have investigated this link. This study is divided into two parts. Firstly, surface-based snowfall measurements are used to devise a method for classifying rimed and unrimed snow from X- and Ka-band Doppler radar observations. In the second part, this classification is used in combination with multi-frequency and dual-polarization radar observations to investigate the impact of precipitation intensity, aggregation, riming, and dendritic growth on melting layer properties. The radar-observed melting layer characteristics show strong dependence on precipitation intensity as well as detectable differences between unrimed and rimed snow. This study is based on the data collected during the Biogenic Aerosols – Effects on Clouds and Climate (BAECC) experiment, that took place in 2014 in Hyytiala, Finland.

Haoran Li et al.

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Haoran Li et al.

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Short summary
A method for classifying rimed and unrimed snow based on X- and Ka-band Doppler radar observations was developed to study the impact of precipitation intensity, aggregation, riming, and dendritic growth on melting layer properties. Multi-frequency and dual-polarization radar observations collected during BAECC 2014 show that radar characteristics of the melting layer strongly depend on precipitation intensity and show detectable differences between unrimed and rimed snow.
A method for classifying rimed and unrimed snow based on X- and Ka-band Doppler radar...
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