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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 33, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 1994
  • pp: 4590–4601

Effects of ice-crystal structure on halo formation: cirrus cloud experimental and ray-tracing modeling studies

Kenneth Sassen, Nancy C. Knight, Yoshihide Takano, and Andrew J. Heymsfield  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 33, Issue 21, pp. 4590-4601 (1994)

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During the 1986 Project FIRE (First International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project Regional Experiment) field campaign, four 22° halo-producing cirrus clouds were studied jointly from a ground-based polarization lidar and an instrumented aircraft. The lidar data show the vertical cloud structure and the relative position of the aircraft, which collected a total of 84 slides by impaction, preserving the ice crystals for later microscopic examination. Although many particles were too fragile to survive impaction intact, a large fraction of the identifiable crystals were columns and radial bullet rosettes, with both displaying internal cavitations, and radial plate-column combinations. Particles that were solid or displayed only a slight amount of internal structure were relatively rare, which shows that the usual model postulated by halo theorists, i.e., the randomly oriented, solid hexagonal crystal, is inappropriate for typical cirrus clouds. With the aid of new ray-tracing simulations for hexagonal hollow-ended column and bullet-rosette models, we evaluate the effects of more realistic ice-crystal structures on halo formation and lidar depolarization and consider why the common halo is not more common in cirrus clouds.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: September 27, 1993
Revised Manuscript: January 10, 1994
Published: July 20, 1994

Kenneth Sassen, Nancy C. Knight, Yoshihide Takano, and Andrew J. Heymsfield, "Effects of ice-crystal structure on halo formation: cirrus cloud experimental and ray-tracing modeling studies," Appl. Opt. 33, 4590-4601 (1994)

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  1. K. Sassen, A. J. Heymsfield, D. O'C Starr, “Is there a cirrus small particle radiative anomaly?” in Preprints of the Seventh Conference on Atmospheric Radiation (American Meteorological Society, Boston, Mass., 1990), pp. J91–J95.
  2. V. J. Schaefer, “A method for making snowflake replicas,” Science 93, 239–240 (1941). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. H. K. Weickman, “Die Eisphase in der Atmosphär,” Lib. Trans.273 (Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnsborough, UK, 1947).
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  7. D. O'C Starr, “A cirrus-cloud experiment: Intensive field observations planned for FIRE,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 68, 119–124 (1987). [CrossRef]
  8. K. Sassen, C. J. Grund, J. D. Spinhirne, M. Hardesty, J. M. Alvarez, “The 27–28 October 1986 FIRE IFO cirrus case study: a five lidar overview of cloud structure and evolution,” Mon. Wea. Rev. 118, 2288–2311 (1990). [CrossRef]
  9. A. J. Heymsfield, K. M. Miller, J. D. Spinhirne, “The 27–28 October FIRE IFO cirrus case study: cloud microstructure,” Mon. Weather Rev. 118, 2313–2328 (1990). [CrossRef]
  10. K. Sassen, “The polarization lidar technique for cloud research: a review and current assessment,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 72, 1848–1866 (1991). [CrossRef]
  11. The November 1990 (Vol. 118) issue of the Monthly Weather Review compiles a number of related articles from this cirrus cloud case study.
  12. N. C. Knight, “No two alike,” Bull. Am. Meteorol. Soc. 69, 496 (1988).
  13. Y. Takano, K. N. Liou, “Solar radiative transfer in cirrus cloud. Part I: single-scattering and optical properties of hexagonal ice crystals,” J. Atmos. Sci. 46, 3–19 (1989). [CrossRef]
  14. K. N. Liou, Y. Takano, “Light scattering by nonspherical particles: remote sensing and climatic implications,” Atmos. Res. (to be published).
  15. R. Greenler, Rainbows, Halos, and Glories (Cambridge U. Press, Cambridge, 1980).
  16. R. A. R. Tricker, Ice Crystal Haloes (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1979).
  17. M. Glass, D. J. Varley, “Observations of cirrus particle characteristics occurring with halos,” in Preprints of the Conference on Cloud Physics and Atmospheric Electricity (American Meteorological Society, Boston, Mass., 1978), pp. 126–128.
  18. According to the laboratory studies reported in K. Sassen, K. N. Liou, “Scattering of polarized laser light by water droplet, mixed phase and ice clouds. Part I: Angular scattering patterns,” J. Atmos. Sci. 36, 838–851 (1979), minimum ice-crystal dimensions of ∼25 μm are needed for generating halos. [CrossRef]
  19. K. Sassen, “Remote sensing of planar ice crystal fall attitudes,” J. Meteorol. Soc. Jpn. 58, 422–429 (1980).
  20. K. Sassen, “Polarization and Brewster angle properties of light pillars,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 570–580 (1987). [CrossRef]

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