Fall speed measurement and high-resolution multi-angle photography of hydrometeors in free fall
Abstract. We describe here a new instrument for imaging hydrometeors in free fall. The Multi-Angle Snowflake Camera (MASC) captures high-resolution photographs of hydrometeors from three angles while simultaneously measuring their fall speed. Based on the stereoscopic photographs captured over the two months of continuous measurements obtained at a high altitude location within the Wasatch Front in Utah, we derive statistics for fall speed, hydrometeor size, shape, orientation and aspect ratio. From a selection of the photographed hydrometeors, an illustration is provided for how the instrument might be used for making improved microwave scattering calculations. Complex, aggregated snowflake shapes appear to be more strongly forward scattering, at the expense of reduced back-scatter, than heavily rimed graupel particles of similar size.