Articles | Volume 20, issue 11
30 Nov 2002
 | 30 Nov 2002

Cloud microphysical characteristics versus temperature for three Canadian field projects

I. Gultepe, G. A. Isaac, and S. G. Cober

Abstract. The purpose of this study is to better understand how cloud microphysical characteristics such as liquid water content (LWC) and droplet number concentration (Nd) change with temperature (T). The in situ observations were collected during three research projects including: the Radiation, Aerosol, and Cloud Experiment (RACE) which took place over the Bay of Fundy and Central Ontario during August 1995, the First International Regional Arctic Cloud Experiment (FIRE.ACE) which took place in the Arctic Ocean during April 1998, and the Alliance Icing Research Study (AIRS) which took place in the Ontario region during the winter of 1999–2000. The RACE, FIRE.ACE, and AIRS projects represent summer mid-latitude clouds, Arctic clouds, and mid-latitude winter clouds, respectively. A LWC threshold of 0.005 g m-3 was used for this study. Similar to other studies, LWC was observed to decrease with decreasing T. The LWC-T relationship was similar for all projects, although the range of T conditions for each project was substantially different, and the variability of LWC within each project was considerable. Nd also decreased with decreasing T, and a parameterization for Nd versus T is suggested that may be useful for modeling studies.

Key words. Atmospheric composition and structure (cloud physics and chemistry) – Meteorology and atmospheric dynamics (climatology; general circulation)