9 Snowfall properties observed by ground-based cloud radars

Monday, 26 September 2011
Grand Ballroom (William Penn Hotel)
Mark S. Kulie, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI; and S. Kneifel, M. J. Hiley, and R. Bennartz

Ground-based, vertically-pointing millimeter-wave cloud radar data from mid- and high-latitude Advanced Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility locations are used to investigate radar signatures associated with snowfall. While the ARM Southern Great Plains (SGP) site does not typically receive frequent or abundant snowfall, the active 2011 winter season in Oklahoma provides a unique opportunity to investigate snowfall using the vast instrument array available at the SGP location. Microphysical aspects of snowfall that can be inferred using dual-frequency radar will be explored, including cloud-height and/or temperature-dependent characteristics that can improve microphysical parameterizations and snowfall retrieval schemes. We will illustrate how spaceborne near-surface snowfall retrievals can be improved by leveraging high resolution ARM cloud radar observations, especially in the lowest ~1 km above ground level where spaceborne radars (e.g., CloudSat) typically struggle to provide meaningful data. Comparisons between the various ARM sites – and potentially other sites around the world – will also be undertaken to assess the universality of the results obtained from each respective location.
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