Habit-Dependent Vapor Growth Modulates Arctic Supercooled Water Occurrence

Israel Silber, Paul S. McGlynn, Jerry Y. Harrington, Johannes Verlinde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of long-term data collected at Utqiaġvik, Alaska, to explore the impacts of cloud processes on the probability of finding supercooled water given cloud temperature, P(L|T), in the topmost unseeded liquid-bearing layers. P(L|T) has local minima at temperatures around −6°C and −15°C. Simulations using habit-evolving ice microphysics models suggest that these minima are the result of efficient vapor growth by non-isometric habits found at these temperatures. We conclude that habit-dependent vapor growth of ice crystals modulates the macrophysical occurrence of supercooled water in polar clouds, the effect of which should be included in model parametrizations to avoid biases and/or error compensation. Our methodology is adaptable for spherical ice treatments implemented in models (example parametrizations provided), amenable for use with satellite measurements to give global impartial observational targets for model evaluations, and may allow empirical characterization of bulk responses to seeding and possibly secondary ice effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021GL092767
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 28 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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