Impacts of ice particle shape and density evolution on the distribution of orographic precipitation

Anders A. Jensen, Jerry Y. Harrington, Hugh Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


An IMPROVE-2 orographic precipitation case is simulated using the Ice-Spheroids Habit Model with Aspect-Ratio Evolution (ISHMAEL) microphysics. In ISHMAEL, the evolution of ice particle properties such as mass, shape, size, density, and fall speed are predicted. These ice particle properties along with the ice size distributions from ISHMAEL and model-derived spatial distribution of accumulated precipitation are compared to observations. ISHMAEL predicts planar and columnar particles at spatial locations that agree with observations. Sensitivity simulations are used to explore the impact of predicting ice particle shape evolution on orographic cloud properties and precipitation compared to the traditional approach of representing snow and graupel using separate categories with conversion from snow to graupel during riming. High biases in both IWCs aloft and surface precipitation accumulation occur in the Umpqua River valley using separate snow and graupel categories because snow that does not convert to graupel is advected over the Coast Range and precipitates out in the valley. Improvements in IWCs aloft and surface precipitation using ISHMAEL occur from both predicting various vapor-grown habits and predicting the impact of partial riming on ice particle properties. Compared to traditional microphysics schemes, ISHMAEL also produces less spatial variability in accumulated precipitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3095-3114
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


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