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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-2019-346
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-2019-346
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 17 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 17 Oct 2019

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

Ground-based Observations of Cloud and Drizzle Liquid Water Path in Stratocumulus Clouds

Maria P. Cadeddu1, Virendra P. Ghate1, and Mario Mech2 Maria P. Cadeddu et al.
  • 1Environmental Sciences Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, 60439, USA
  • 2University of Cologne, Cologne, 50969, Germany

Abstract. The partition of cloud and drizzle liquid water path in precipitating clouds plays a key role in determining the cloud lifetime and its evolution. A technique to quantify cloud and drizzle liquid water path by combining measurements from a three-channel microwave radiometer (23.8, 30, and 90 GHz) with those from a vertically pointing Doppler cloud radar and a ceilometer is presented. The technique is showcased using one-day of observations to derive precipitable water vapor, liquid water path, cloud water path, drizzle water path below the cloud base, and drizzle water path above the cloud base in precipitating stratocumulus clouds. The resulting cloud and drizzle water path within the cloud are in good qualitative agreement with the information extracted from the radar Doppler spectra. The technique is then applied to ten days each of precipitating closed and open cellular marine stratocumuli. In the closed cell systems only ~20% of the available drizzle in the cloud falls below the cloud base, compared to ~40% in the open cell systems. In closed cell systems precipitation is associated with radiative cooling at the cloud top < −100 W/m2 and liquid water path > 200 g/m2. However, drizzle in the cloud begins to exists at weak radiative cooling and liquid water path > ~150 g/m2. Our results collectively demonstrate that neglecting scattering effects for frequencies at and above 90 GHz leads to overestimation of the total liquid water path of about 10–15%, while their inclusion paves the path for retrieving drizzle properties within the cloud.

Maria P. Cadeddu et al.
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Short summary
A combination of ground-based active and passive sensors is used to partition cloud and precipitation liquid water path in open cell and closed cell stratocumuli. Results show that in the closed cell systems only ~20% of the available drizzle in the cloud falls below the cloud base, compared to ~40% in the open cell systems. The results also show that neglecting scattering effects when using microwave frequencies at and above 90 GHz leads to overestimation of the total liquid water path.
A combination of ground-based active and passive sensors is used to partition cloud and...
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