23 Jan 2023
23 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

The S/Z Relationship of Rimed Snow Particles

Shelby Fuller, Samuel Marlow, Samuel Haimov, Matthew Burkhart, Kevin Shaffer, Austin Morgan, and Jefferson Snider Shelby Fuller et al.
  • Department of Atmospheric Science, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

Abstract. Values of liquid-equivalent snowfall rate (S) at a ground site, and microwave reflectivity (Z) retrieved above the ground site using an airborne W-band radar, were acquired during overflights. Temperature at the ground site was between -6 and -15 °C. At flight level, within clouds containing ice and supercooled liquid water, the temperature was approximately 7 °C colder. Additionally, airborne measurements of snow particle imagery were acquired. The images demonstrate that most of the snow particles were rimed. The S/Z pairs are generally consistent with a published S/Z relationship. The latter was developed with airborne measurements of snow particle imagery, which were used to calculate S, and coincident airborne W-band radar measurements, for Z. Both the previous work and this contribution indicate that most S/Z relationships developed for W-band radars underestimate S in situations with rimed snow particles and with Z < 1 mm6 m-3.

Shelby Fuller et al.

Status: open (until 28 Feb 2023)

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Shelby Fuller et al.

Shelby Fuller et al.


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Short summary
Snowfall rate and radar reflectivity measurements were analyzed. We confirm that the relationship between snowfall rate and reflectivity is dependent on snow particle type. It is likely that the detected snowfall was produced by solid (ice) hydrometeors colliding with liquid cloud droplets forming rimed snow particles. This refinement of the snowfall/reflectivity relationship for rimed snow particles is expected to improve snowfall rate estimation using W-band radars.