A bin-microphysics parcel model investigation of secondary ice formation in an idealised shallow convective cloud

Research output: Other contributionpeer-review


Abstract. We provide the first systematic study of ice formation in idealised shallow clouds from collisions of supercooled water drops with ice particles (‘mode 2’). Using the University of Manchester bin-microphysics parcel model, we investigated the sensitivity of ice formation due to mode 2 for a wide range of parameters: aerosol particle size distribution, updraft speed, cloud base temperature, cloud depth, ice-nucleating particle concentration and freezing fraction of mode 2. We provide context to our results with other secondary ice production mechanisms as single mechanisms and combinations (rime-splintering, spherical freezing fragmentation of drops [‘mode 1’] and ice-ice collisions). There was a significant sensitivity to aerosol particle size distribution when updraft speeds were low (0.5 m s−1); secondary ice formation did not occur when the aerosol particle size distribution mimicked polluted environments. Where secondary ice formation did occur in simulated clouds, significant ice formation in the shallower clouds (1.3 km deep) was due to mode 2 or a combination which included mode 2. The deeper clouds (2.4 km deep) also had significant contributions from rime-splintering or ice-ice collisions SIP mechanisms. While simulations with cloud base temperatures of 7 °C were relatively insensitive to ice-nucleating particle concentrations, there was a sensitivity in simulations cloud base temperatures of 0 °C. Increasing the ice-nucleating particle concentration delayed ice formation. Our results suggest that collisions of supercooled water drops with ice particles may be a significant ice formation mechanism within shallow convective clouds where rime-splintering is not active.
Original languageUndefined
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2022

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