This study demonstrates that linear depolarization ratio (LDR) values obtained from zenith-pointing Kaband radar Doppler velocity spectra are sufficient for detecting columnar ice crystals. During a deep precipitating system over the Arctic on 7 December 2013, the radar recorded LDR values up to 215 dB at temperatures corresponding to the columnar ice crystal growth regime. These LDR values were also consistent with scattering calculations for columnar ice crystals. Enhancements in LDR were suppressed within precipitation fallstreaks because the enhanced LDR values of columnar ice crystals were masked by the returns from the particles within the fallstreaks. However, Doppler velocity spectra of LDR within the fallstreak distinguished populations of slower-falling particles with high LDR (>-15 dB) and faster-falling particles with much lower LDR, suggesting that columnar ice crystals with high LDR coexisted with larger isometric particles that produced low LDR while dominating the total copolar reflectivity, thereby decreasing LDR. The measurements suggest that the columnar ice crystals originated in liquid-cloud layers through secondary ice production.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science