S30 The correlation between surface temperature, humidity, and snow crystal type to upper atmospheric conditions in Boulder, CO

Sunday, 10 January 2016
Hall E ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Joel Hansen, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Denver, CO

Snow crystals are formed at high altitudes and grow into various forms while descending through the atmosphere. In the clouds in which snow crystals are made, the main influences that encourage crystal formation and type are the environmental air temperature and super-saturation levels. The snow crystals experience surface melting when descending through different environmental temperature changes in the upper atmosphere, which can play a significant role in snow crystal growth. The objective of this study is to analyze surface conditions – ambient air temperature, humidity, and snow crystal type – of several snowfall events that took place in Boulder, CO and determine a correlation to the upper atmospheric conditions that are associated with snow crystal formation and growth. To accomplish this research, data provided by UCAR from two meteorological instruments – Campbell Scientific Temperature/Humidity sensor and Multi Angle Snowflake Camera from Fallgatter Technologies –will be analyzed. This data will then be compared to global geostationary satellite data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) to better understand how the upper atmospheric conditions are correlated to the surface temperature, humidity, and snow crystal type.
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