Statistical analysis of ice microphysical properties in tropical mesoscale convective systems derived from cloud radar and in situ microphysical observations

Fontaine, Emmanuel ; Schwarzenboeck, Alfons ; Leroy, Delphine ; Delanoë, Julien ; Protat, Alain ; Dezitter, Fabien ; Strapp, John Walter ; Lilie, Lyle Edward

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<p align=justify>This study presents a statistical analysis of the properties of ice hydrometeors in tropical mesoscale convective systems observed during four different aircraft campaigns. Among the instruments on board the aircraft, we focus on the synergy of a 94 <span class="inline-formula">GHz</span> cloud radar and two optical array probes (OAP; measuring hydrometeor sizes from 10 <span class="inline-formula">µm</span> to about 1 <span class="inline-formula">cm</span>). For two campaigns, an accurate simultaneous measurement of the ice water content is available, while for the two others, ice water content is retrieved from the synergy of the radar reflectivity measurements and hydrometeor size and morphological retrievals from OAP probes. The statistics of ice hydrometeor properties are calculated as a function of radar reflectivity factor measurement percentiles and temperature. Hence, mesoscale convective systems (MCS) microphysical properties (ice water content, visible extinction, mass-size relationship coefficients, total concentrations, and second and third moments of hydrometeor size distribution) are sorted in temperature (and thus altitude) zones, and each individual campaign is subsequently analyzed with respect to median microphysical properties of the merged dataset (merging all four campaign datasets). The study demonstrates that ice water content (IWC), visible extinction, total crystal concentration, and the second and third moments of hydrometeor size distributions are similar in all four types of MCS for IWC larger than 0.1 <span class="inline-formula">g m<sup>?3</sup></span>. Finally, two parameterizations are developed for deep convective systems. The first concerns the calculation of the visible extinction as a function of temperature and ice water content. The second concerns the calculation of hydrometeor size distributions as a function of ice water content and temperature that can be used in numerical weather prediction.</p>
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