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Potential of airborne lidar measurements for cirrus cloud studies

Potential of airborne lidar measurements for cirrus cloud studiesAtmospheric Measurement Techniques, 7, 2745-2755, 2014Author(s): S. Groß, M. Wirth, A. Schäfler, A. Fix, S. Kaufmann, and C. VoigtAerosol and water vapour measurements were performed with the lidar system
WALES of Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) in October and
November 2010 during the first mission with the new German research aircraft
G55-HALO. Curtains composed of lidar profiles beneath the aircraft show the
vertical and horizontal distribution and variability of water vapour mixing
ratio and backscatter ratio above Germany. Two missions on 3 and
4 November 2010 were selected to derive the water vapour mixing ratio inside
cirrus clouds from the lidar instrument. A good agreement was found with
in situ observations performed on a second research aircraft flying below
HALO. ECMWF analysis temperature data are used to derive relative humidity
fields with respect to ice (RHi) inside and outside of cirrus clouds from the lidar water vapour
observations. The RHi variability is dominated by small-scale fluctuations in
the water vapour fields while the temperature variation has a minor impact.
The most frequent in-cloud RHi value from lidar observations is 98%. The
RHi variance is smaller inside the cirrus than outside of the cloud.
2-D histograms of relative humidity and backscatter ratio show
significant differences for in-cloud and out-of-cloud situations for two
different cirrus cloud regimes. Combined with accurate temperature
measurements, the lidar observations have a great potential for detailed
statistical cirrus cloud and related humidity studies.

Atmospheric Measurement Techniques 2014/08/26 - 18:40 Czytaj