Unique multispectral characteristics of ice clouds in the presence of large amounts of desert dust
This study combines satellite data and radiative transfer model simulations to explore several case studies in which dust may be influencing the microphysical properties of ice clouds. Under certain conditions, large amounts of dust can be ingested into the cloud tops where they produce unusual multispectral characteristics as compared with similar non-dust-entrained cyclones. Using the radiative transfer simulations as a basis for comparison, it is found that both passive and active satellite observations indicate an increase in the particle number concentrations and a reduction in the particle effective radius when large amounts of dust are observed. Observations of other interesting characteristics are also compared with "regular" cirrus clouds, such as longer cloud lifetimes (defined by parameters including brightness temperature) and well-defined cellular cloud top structures (normally associated with altocumulus).