Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-714
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-714
 
15 Sep 2017
15 Sep 2017
Status: this preprint was under review for the journal ACP but the revision was not accepted.

On the Freezing Time of Supercooled Drops in Developing Convective Clouds

Jing Yang1, Zhien Wang1, and Andrew Heymsfield2 Jing Yang et al.
  • 1Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
  • 2National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

Abstract. In this study, the particle size distributions (PSDs) measured in fresh developing maritime convective clouds sampled during the Ice in Clouds-Tropical (ICE-T) project are shown and compared with the PSDs modeled using a parcel model containing a spectral bin microphysics scheme. The observations suggest that the first ice in convective clouds is small. To interpret the observed ice PSDs, the freezing times and temperatures of supercooled drops are analyzed. The results indicate that the freezing time is longer for large drops than it is for small drops. Due to instrumental limitations, freezing drops cannot be identified until they exhibit obvious shape deformation. If the updraft is strong enough, large freezing drops can be carried upwards to a lower temperature than their nucleation temperature before obvious shape deformation occurs. In models, drop freezing is assumed to be instantaneous, which is not realistic; thus, the model yields a broader first ice PSD than is observed. This study allows us to interpret the observed ice PSDs in fresh developing convective clouds from the perspective of the freezing time of supercooled drops and notes the deficiency of instantaneous drop freezing in models. To better understand the mechanisms of drop freezing and ice initiation in convective clouds, more laboratory experiments and in situ measurements are needed in the future.

Jing Yang et al.

 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement

Jing Yang et al.

Jing Yang et al.

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Short summary
This study shows the freezing time is longer for large drops than small drops. Due to instrumental limitations, freezing drops cannot be identified until they exhibit obvious shape deformation. In models, drop freezing is assumed to be instantaneous, which is not realistic; thus, the model yields a broader first ice PSD than is observed. This study allows us to interpret the observed ice PSDs in developing convective clouds, and notes the deficiency of instantaneous drop freezing in models.
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