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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-56
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-56
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 04 Feb 2020

Submitted as: research article | 04 Feb 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Properties of Arctic liquid and mixed phase clouds from ship-borne Cloudnet observations during ACSE 2014

Peggy Achtert1,a, Ewan J. O'Connor2,3, Ian M. Brooks1, Georgia Sotiropoulou4,b, Matthew D. Shupe5,6, Bernhard Pospichal7, Barbara J. Brooks8, and Michael Tjernström4 Peggy Achtert et al.
  • 1Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • 2Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
  • 3Meteorology Department, University of Reading, Reading, UK
  • 4Department of Meteorology and the Bert Bolin Centre for Climate Research, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5Cooperative Institute for the Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 6Earth System Research Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado, USA
  • 7Institute for Geophysics and Meteorology, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 8National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  • anow at: Meteorological Observatory Hohenpeißenberg, German Weather Service, Germany
  • bnow at: Laboratory of Atmospheric Processes and Their Impacts, School of Architecture, Civil & Environmental Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract. This study presents Cloudnet retrievals of Arctic clouds from measurements conducted during a three-month research expedition along the Siberian shelf during summer and autumn 2014. During autumn, we find a strong reduction in the occurrence of liquid clouds and an increase for both mixed-phase and ice clouds at low levels compared to summer. About 80 % of all liquid clouds observed during the research cruise show a liquid water path below the infra-red black body limit of approximately 50 g m−2. The majority of mixed-phase and ice clouds had an ice water path below 20 g m−2.

Cloud properties are analysed with respect to cloud-top temperature and boundary layer structure. Changes in these parameters have little effect on the geometric thickness of liquid clouds while mixed-phase clouds during warm-air advection events are generally thinner than when such events were absent. Cloud-top temperatures are very similar for all mixed-phase clouds. However, more cases of lower cloud-top temperature were observed in the absence of warm-air advection.

Profiles of liquid and ice water content are normalised with respect to cloud base and height. For liquid water clouds, the liquid water content profile reveals a strong increase with height with a maximum within the upper quarter of the clouds followed by a sharp decrease towards cloud top. Liquid water content is lowest for clouds observed below an inversion during warm-air advection events. Most mixed-phase clouds show a liquid water content profile with a very similar shape to that of liquid clouds but with lower maximum values during warm-air advection. The normalised ice water content profiles in mixed-phase clouds look different from that of liquid water content. They show a wider range in maximum values with lowest ice water content for clouds below an inversion and highest values for clouds above or extending through an inversion. The ice water content profile generally peaks at a height below the peak in the liquid water content profile – usually in the centre of the cloud, sometimes closer to cloud base, likely due to particle sublimation as the crystals fall through the cloud.

Peggy Achtert et al.

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Peggy Achtert et al.

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Latest update: 02 Jun 2020
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Short summary
We present remote-sensing observations of Arctic liquid and mixed-phase clouds during a research cruise along the Russian shelf in summer 2014. Observations with cloud radar, ceilometer, microwave radiometer, wind lidar, radiosondes, and visibility sensor are combined in the synergistic Cloudnet retrieval. Cloud properties are analyzed with respect to cloud-top temperature and boundary layer structure. About 80 % of all liquid clouds show a iquid water path below the infra-red black body limit.
We present remote-sensing observations of Arctic liquid and mixed-phase clouds during a...
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