Cloud Ice Properties: In Situ Measurement Challenges

Darrel Baumgardner, Steve Abel, Duncan Axisa, Richard Cotton, Jonathan Crosier, P.R. Field, Colin Gurganus, Andrew J. Heymsfield, Alexei Korolev, Martina Kraemer, Paul Lawson, Greg McFarquhar, Zbigniew Ulanowski, Junshik Um

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Understanding the formation and evolution of ice in clouds requires detailed information on the size, shape, mass and optical properties of individual cloud hydrometeors and their bulk properties over a broad range of atmospheric conditions. Since the 1960s, instrumentation and research aircraft have evolved providing increasingly more accurate and larger quantities of data about cloud particle properties. In this chapter we review the current status of electrical powered, in situ measurement systems with respect to their strengths and weaknesses and document their limitations and uncertainties. There remain many outstanding challenges. These are summarized and accompanied by recommendations for moving forward. through new developments that fill the remaining information gaps. Closing these gaps will remove the obstacles that continue to hinder our understanding of cloud processes in general and the evolution of ice in particular.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9.1–9.23
Number of pages23
JournalMeteorological Monographs
Early online date7 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2017


  • cloud microphysics
  • ice crystals
  • ice particles
  • aircraft observations
  • in site atmospheric observations
  • instrumentation/sensors


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