Derivation of physical and optical properties of mid-latitude cirrus ice crystals for a size-resolved cloud microphysics model
Abstract. Single-crystal images collected in mid-latitude cirrus are analyzed to provide internally consistent ice physical and optical properties for a size-resolved cloud microphysics model, including single-particle mass, projected area, fall speed, capacitance, single-scattering albedo, and asymmetry parameter. Using measurements gathered during two flights through a widespread synoptic cirrus shield, bullet rosettes are found to be the dominant identifiable habit among ice crystals with maximum dimension (Dmax) greater than 100 µm. Properties are therefore first derived for bullet rosettes based on measurements of arm lengths and widths, then for aggregates of bullet rosettes and for unclassified (irregular) crystals. Derived bullet rosette masses are substantially greater than reported in existing literature, whereas measured projected areas are similar or lesser, resulting in factors of 1.5–2 greater fall speeds, and, in the limit of large Dmax, near-infrared single-scattering albedo and asymmetry parameter (g) greater by ∼ 0.2 and 0.05, respectively. A model that includes commonly imaged side plane growth on bullet rosettes exhibits relatively little difference in microphysical and optical properties aside from ∼ 0.05 increase in mid-visible g primarily attributable to plate aspect ratio. In parcel simulations, ice size distribution, and g are sensitive to assumed ice properties.