Supercooled Liquid Water Concentrations in Winter Orographic Clouds from Ground-base Ice Accretion Measurements


  • Thomas J. Henderson Atmospherics Incorporated
  • Mark E. Solak Atmospherics Incorporated


An icing rate detector originally designed for aircraft is used to measure supercooled liquid water in winter orographic clouds at a fixed mountain-top site in the central Sierra Nevada of California. Supercooled liquid water concentrations have been determined using continuous records of rime ice accretion and windspeed. It is shown that supercooled liquid water is occurring within larger portions of storms than prior airborne observations over the operational area have indicated, particularly during pre-frontal periods. In many instances, supercooled liquid water occurs below safe aircraft operational altitudes over the mountainous project area. The ground-based measurementsystem provides an effective tool for semi-quan- titative determination of supercooled liquid water within specific cloud volumes heretofore unmeasured.






Scientific Papers