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Time-varying ice crystal orientation in thunderstorms observed with multiparameter radar

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2 Author(s)
Caylor, I.J. ; Lab. for Atmos., NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, USA ; Chandrasekar, V.

Repeated changes associated with lightning have been observed with multiparameter radar in the echoes from the tops of Florida thunderstorms. These lightning-related radar signatures are interpreted as changes in the orientation of ice crystals being preferentially aligned parallel to the in-cloud electric field. The changes occur at intervals on the order of 10 s and are easily observed in the signatures of the differential propagation phase shift and the linear depolarization ratio which are sensitive to propagation effects caused by the oriented ice crystals. The orientation of ice crystals aloft has been previously observed using circularly polarized radar while the simultaneous differential phase shift and linear depolarization measurements reported were obtained with a dual-linear polarized radar. The observations indicate crystal orientation angles greater than 450 and occasionally near vertical. In one case, the crystals were found to be oriented in a layer near radar cloud top spanning a 20-km range and 3 km in depth

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Geoscience and Remote Sensing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 4 )