Evidence of liquid dependent ice nucleation in high-latitude stratiform clouds from surface remote sensors



[1] Ground-based lidar, radar and microwave radiometer observations at Eureka, Canada, Barrow, Alaska and over the western Arctic Ocean measure physical characteristics and morphology of stratiform clouds. Despite transition of a cold atmosphere (−15 C)through ice supersaturated conditions, ice is not observed until soon after a liquid layer. Several cases illustrating this phenomenon are presented in addition to long-term observations from three measurement sites characterizing cloud phase frequency. This analysis demonstrates that clouds composed entirely of ice occur less frequently than liquid-topped mixed-phase clouds at temperatures warmer than −25 to −30 C. These results indicate ice formation generally occurs in conjunction with liquid at these temperatures, and suggest the importance of liquid-dependent ice nucleation mechanisms.