Examinations of ice formation processes in Florida cumuli using ice nuclei...

Prenni, A. J., P. J. DeMott, C. Twohy, M. Poellot, S. M. Kreidenweis, D. Rogers, S. D. Brooks, M. S. Richardson, and A. Heymsfield (2007), Examinations of ice formation processes in Florida cumuli using ice nuclei measurements of anvil ice crystal particle residues, J. Geophys. Res., 112, D10221, doi:10.1029/2006JD007549.

A continuous flow diffusion chamber (CFDC) was used to measure ice formation by cloud particle residuals during the Cirrus Regional Study of Tropical Anvils and Cirrus Layers-Florida Area Cirrus Experiment. These measurements were directed toward determining the relative contributions of homogeneous nucleation, heterogeneous nucleation, and secondary ice formation processes to the concentrations of ice crystals in anvil cirrus formed from convection. The CFDC sampled residual particles remaining after evaporation of cloud particles initially collected by a counterflow virtual impactor. This allowed, for the first time, determination of the ice nucleation ability of particles that included the presumed nuclei for cloud-ice formation. The approach proved successful for estimating concentrations of heterogeneous ice nuclei (IN) transported into anvil clouds, but experimental issues limited measurements of homogeneous freezing and, consequently, in determining the role of secondary ice formation. Results suggest agreement within a factor of 2–3 between CFDC heterogeneous IN concentrations and anvil ice crystal concentrations in the size range above ~30 mm. IN concentrations also correlated with ice concentrations inferred from measurements by the FSSP (Forward Scattering Spectrometer Probe). However, measured IN concentrations were nearly two orders of magnitude lower than FSSP concentrations. This difference may have resulted from homogeneous freezing, secondary ice formation, or other unidentified ice formation processes that were not fully captured by the CFDC. The data suggest that heterogeneous nucleation played a smaller role than homogeneous nucleation in determining anvil ice crystal concentrations, except during periods of strong desert dust ingestion by cumuli. Nevertheless, heterogeneous nucleation may provide the source for larger ice crystals present in anvil regions.

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Radiation Science Program (RSP)