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Two types of Arctic mixed-phase clouds observed during the ISDAC and M-PACE field campaigns are simulated using a 3-dimensional cloud-resolving model (CRM) with size-resolved cloud microphysics. The modeled cloud properties agree reasonably well with aircraft measurements and surface-based retrievals. Cloud properties such as the probability density function (PDF) of vertical velocity (w), cloud liquid and ice, regimes of cloud particle growth, including the Wegener-Bergeron-Findeisen (WBF) process, and the relationships among properties/processes in mixed-phase clouds are examined to gain insights for improving their representation in General Circulation Models (GCMs). The PDF of the simulated w is well represented by a Gaussian function, validating, at least for arctic clouds, the subgrid treatment used in GCMs. The PDFs of liquid and ice water contents can be approximated by Gamma functions, and a Gaussian function can describe the total water distribution, but a fixed variance assumption should be avoided in both cases. The CRM results support the assumption frequently used in GCMs that mixed phase clouds maintain water vapor near liquid saturation. Thus, ice continues to grow throughout the stratiform cloud but the WBF process occurs in about 50% of cloud volume where liquid and ice co-exist, predominantly in downdrafts. In updrafts, liquid and ice particles grow simultaneously. The relationship between the ice depositional growth rate and cloud ice strongly depends on the capacitance of ice particles. The simplified size-independent capacitance of ice particles used in GCMs could lead to large deviations in ice depositional growth. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.




An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright 2011. The authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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