Articles | Volume 16, issue 7
Research article
07 Apr 2016
Research article |  | 07 Apr 2016

Developing and bounding ice particle mass- and area-dimension expressions for use in atmospheric models and remote sensing

Ehsan Erfani and David L. Mitchell

Abstract. Ice particle mass- and projected area-dimension (m-D and A-D) power laws are commonly used in the treatment of ice cloud microphysical and optical properties and the remote sensing of ice cloud properties. Although there has long been evidence that a single m-D or A-D power law is often not valid over all ice particle sizes, few studies have addressed this fact. This study develops self-consistent m-D and A-D expressions that are not power laws but can easily be reduced to power laws for the ice particle size (maximum dimension or D) range of interest, and they are valid over a much larger D range than power laws. This was done by combining ground measurements of individual ice particle m and D formed at temperature T  <  −20 °C during a cloud seeding field campaign with 2-D stereo (2D-S) and cloud particle imager (CPI) probe measurements of D and A, and estimates of m, in synoptic and anvil ice clouds at similar temperatures. The resulting m-D and A-D expressions are functions of temperature and cloud type (synoptic vs. anvil), and are in good agreement with m-D power laws developed from recent field studies considering the same temperature range (−60 °C  <  T  <  −20 °C).

Short summary
Ice particle projected area- and mass-dimension expressions are developed and validated, and uncertainties for power laws derived from these expressions are determined.
Final-revised paper