Theory and observations of ice particle evolution in cirrus using Doppler radar: evidence for aggregation
Westbrook, C. D., Hogan, R. J., Illingworth, A. J. and O'Connor, E. J. (2007) Theory and observations of ice particle evolution in cirrus using Doppler radar: evidence for aggregation. Geophysical Research Letters, 34. L02824. ISSN 0094-8276
To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027863
Vertically pointing Doppler radar has been used to study the evolution of ice particles as they sediment through a cirrus cloud. The measured Doppler fall speeds, together with radar-derived estimates for the altitude of cloud top, are used to estimate a characteristic fall time tc for the `average' ice particle. The change in radar reflectivity Z is studied as a function of tc, and is found to increase exponentially with fall time. We use the idea of dynamically scaling particle size distributions to show that this behaviour implies exponential growth of the average particle size, and argue that this exponential growth is a signature of ice crystal aggregation.