Articles | Volume 14, issue 1
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 239–268, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-239-2021

Special issue: StratoClim stratospheric and upper tropospheric processes...

Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 239–268, 2021
https://doi.org/10.5194/amt-14-239-2021

Research article 14 Jan 2021

Research article | 14 Jan 2021

Understanding balloon-borne frost point hygrometer measurements after contamination by mixed-phase clouds

Teresa Jorge et al.

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Balloon-borne frost point hygrometers are crucial for the monitoring of water vapour in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. We found that when traversing a mixed-phase cloud with big supercooled droplets, the intake tube of the instrument collects on its inner surface a high percentage of these droplets. The newly formed ice layer will sublimate at higher levels and contaminate the measurement. The balloon is also a source of contamination, but only at higher levels during the ascent.