Environmental & Climate Sciences Department Seminar

"The Roles of Natural Variability and Measurement Uncertainty in Quantifying Uncertainty in Ice Particle Fall Velocity Relationships"

Presented by Andrew Dzambo, University of Oklahoma

Thursday, February 9, 2023, 11:00 am — Large Conference Room, Bldg. 490

Ice particle terminal fall velocity (Vt) is fundamental for determining microphysical processes, yet remains extremely challenging to measure. Current theoretical best estimates of Vt are functions of Reynolds number. The Reynolds number is related to the Best number, which is a function of ice particle mass, area ratio (Ar), and maximum dimension (Dmax). These estimates are not conducive for use in most models since model parameterizations often take the form Vt=αDβmax, where (α, β) depend on habit and Dmax. A previously developed framework is used to determine surfaces of equally plausible (α, β) coefficients whereby ice particle size/shape distributions are combined with Vt best estimates to determine mass- (VM) or reflectivity-weighted (VZ) velocities that closely match parameterized VM,SD or VZ,SD calculated using the (α, β) coefficients using two approaches. The first uses surfaces of equally plausible (a, b) coefficients describing mass (M)–dimension relationships (i.e., M=αDbmax) to calculate mass- or reflectivity-weighted velocity from size/shape distributions that are then used to determine (α, β) coefficients. The second investigates how uncertainties in Ar, Dmax, and size distribution N(D) affect VM or VZ. For seven of nine flight legs flown on 20 and 23 May 2011 during the Mesoscale Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E), uncertainty from natural parameter variability—namely, the variability in ice particle parameters in similar meteorological conditions—exceeds uncertainties arising from different Ar assumptions or Dmax estimates. Natural variability relative to measurement uncertainty, however, has some dependence on the measurement averaging time, where measurement uncertainties become more important with increasing averaging time but the exact reasoning for this remains under investigation. Regardless, the combined uncertainty between Ar, Dmax, and N(D) produced smaller variability in (α, β) compared to varying M(D), demonstrating M(D) must be accurately quantified for model fall velocities. Finally, the roles of gravity waves and turbulence in producing increased natural variability within the ice particle parameters is investigated.

Hosted by: Sid Gupta

Videoconference Instructions

Meeting ID: 160 560 5996 Passcode: 433866

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