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Atmospheric Measurement Techniques An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-222
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-222
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 Jun 2019

Research article | 24 Jun 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Measurement Techniques (AMT).

A new approach to estimate supersaturation fluctuations in stratocumulus cloud using ground-based remote sensing measurements

Fan Yang1, Robert McGraw1, Edward P. Luke1, Damao Zhang1, Pavlos Kollias1,2, and Andrew M. Vogelmann1 Fan Yang et al.
  • 1Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA
  • 2School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA

Abstract. Supersaturation, crucial for cloud droplet activation and condensational growth, varies in clouds at different spatial and temporal scales. In-cloud supersaturation is poorly known and rarely measured directly. On the scale of a few tens of meters, supersaturation in clouds has been estimated from in-situ measurements assuming quasi-steady state supersaturation. Here, we provide a new method to estimate supersaturation using ground-based remote sensing measurements, and results are compared with those estimated from aircraft in-situ measurements in a marine stratocumulus cloud during the ACE-ENA field campaign. Our method agrees reasonably well with in-situ estimations and it has three advantages: (1) it does not rely on the quasi-steady state assumption, which is questionable in clean or turbulent clouds; (2) it can provide a supersaturation profile, rather than just point values from in-situ measurements; and (3) it enables building statistics of supersaturation in stratocumulus clouds for various meteorological conditions from multi-year ground-based measurements. The uncertainties, limitations and possible applications of our method are discussed.

Fan Yang et al.
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Short summary
In-cloud supersaturation is crucial for droplet activation, growth, and drizzle initiation, but is poorly known and hardly measured. Here we provide a novel method to estimate supersaturation fluctuation in stratocumulus cloud using remote sensing measurements, and results show that our estimated supersaturation agrees reasonably well with in-situ measurements. Our method provides a unique way to estimate supersaturation in stratocumulus clouds from long term ground-based observations.
In-cloud supersaturation is crucial for droplet activation, growth, and drizzle initiation, but...
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