Microphysical properties of snow and their link to Ze-S relations during BAECC 2014

Annakaisa von Lerber*, Dmitri Moisseev, Larry F. Bliven, Walter Petersen, Ari-Matti Harri, V. Chandrasekar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


This study uses snow events from the Biogenic Aerosols-Effects on Clouds and Climate (BAECC) 2014 campaign to investigate the connection between properties of snow and radar observations. The general hydrodynamic theory is applied to video-disdrometer measurements to retrieve masses of falling ice particles. Errors associated with the observation geometry and themeasured particle size distribution (PSD) are addressed by devising a simple correction procedure. The value of the correction factor is determined by comparison of the retrieved precipitation accumulation with weighing-gauge measurements. Derived mass-dimensional relations are represented in the power-law form m 5 amDbm. It is shown that the retrieved prefactor am and exponent bm react to changes in prevailingmicrophysical processes. From the derivedmicrophysical properties, event-specific relations between the equivalent reflectivity factor Ze and snowfall precipitation rate S (Ze 5 azsSb zs) are determined. For the studied events, the prefactor of the Ze-S relation varied between 53 and 782 and the exponent was in the range of 1.19-1.61. The dependence of the factors azs and bzs on the m(D) relation and PSD are investigated. The exponent of the Ze-S relation mainly depends on the exponent of the m(D) relation, whereas the prefactor azs depends on both the intercept parameter N0 of the PSDand the prefactors of them(D) andy(D) relations. Changes in azs for a given N0 are shown to be linked to changes in liquid water path, which can be considered to be a proxy for degree of riming.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1561-1582
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Ice particles
  • Microwave observations
  • Radars/Radar observations
  • Remote sensing
  • Snowfall
  • Surface observations

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