Thermodynamic Phase and Ice Cloud Properties in Northern Hemisphere Winter...

Naud, C. M., and B. Kahn (2015), Thermodynamic Phase and Ice Cloud Properties in Northern Hemisphere Winter Extratropical Cyclones Observed by Aqua AIRS, J. Appl. Meteor. Climat., 54, 2283-2303, doi:10.1175/JAMC-D-15-0045.1.

Ice cloud properties in Northern Hemisphere winter extratropical cyclones are examined using the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), version 6, cloud products. The cloud thermodynamic phase product indicates that warm frontal clouds are dominated by ice, liquid-phase clouds occur outside of the warm frontal region, and supercooled or mixed-phase clouds are found in the southwestern quadrant of the cyclones. Stratiform ice clouds populate the warm frontal region and portions of the cold sector while convective ice clouds populate southeastern portions of the warm front and the southeastern quadrant. Total cloud cover is smaller in land cyclones than in ocean cyclones, especially in the southwestern quadrant and the warm frontal region. Ice cloud cover is less over land in the warm frontal region, because land cyclones are generally weaker and drier than ocean cyclones. The impact of cyclone average precipitable water (PW) and the magnitude of 850-hPa vertical ascent v850 on the thermodynamic phase, occurrence of stratiform or convective ice cloud, ice particle effective diameter, optical thickness, and cloud-top temperature are discussed. When comparing land and ocean cyclones with similar PW and v850, ice cloud coverage is found to be greater over land. Convective ice cloud occurs more often and is deeper over land. Supercooled cloud appears to persist to colder temperatures over ocean than over land, especially in the warm frontal region. These results suggest that, over land, ice cloud formation in warm fronts is possibly more efficient because of a greater aerosol amount from local or regional sources.

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