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Theory and observations of ice particle evolution in cirrus using Doppler radar: evidence for aggregation

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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

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027863

Abstract/Summary

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.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:826
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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