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Inadvertent localized intensification of precipitation by aircraft

Moisseev, D., Lautaportti, S., Alku, L., Tabakova, K., O'Connor, E. J., Leskinen, M. and Kulmala, M. (2019) Inadvertent localized intensification of precipitation by aircraft. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 124 (4). pp. 2094-2104. ISSN 2169-8996

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1029/2018jd029449


Eleven years of dual‐polarization weather radar data, complemented by satellite and lidar observations, were used to investigate the origin of areas of localized intensification of precipitation spotted in the vicinity of Helsinki‐Vantaa airport. It was observed that existing precipitation is enhanced locally on spatial scales from a few kilometers to several tens of kilometers. The precipitation intensity in these localized areas was 6–14 times higher than the background large‐scale precipitation rate. Surface observations and dual‐polarization radar data indicate that snowflakes within the ice portion of the falling precipitation in the intensification regions are larger and more isotropic than in the surrounding precipitation. There appears to be an increase in the ice particle number concentration within the intensification region. The observed events were linked to arriving or departing air traffic. We advocate that the mechanism responsible for intensification is aircraft‐produced ice particles boosting the aggregation growth of snowflakes.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:82546
Publisher:American Geophysical Union

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