Radar estimation of water content in cumulonimbus clouds


The method and results of radar researches of vertically and volumetric integrated water content in powerful cumulonimbus (Cb) clouds obtained for the first time are considered. It is established that in hailstorms of Northern Caucasus vertically integrated liquid (VIL) water content varies in limits from 8 up to 50 kg/m2, in shower clouds—from 0.5 up to 12 kg/m2, in Nimbostratus (Ns) clouds—it is usual less than 0.5 kg/m2 and in clouds with a drizzle—less than 0.05 kg/m2. The main water content of hailstorms in a stage of development is concentrated in their supercooled layer, in a maturity stage—in a layer from the ground up to height 8–10 km and in a stage of dissipation—in a ground layer. The ratio of VIL of the supercooled and warm parts of cloud allows estimating hail dangers of clouds and stage of their development.

It is shown that the volume of hailstorms varies in limits from 103 up to 5 × 104 km3 and their volumetric integrated mass (VIM) of water content — from 105 up to 6 × 106 tons. The volume of hail localization seldom exceeds 5–25% from total cloud volume, but its contribution to VIM achieves 30–60%. Speed of precipitation formation in powerful hailstorms achieves 1 × 104−5 × 105 tons/min and the same order of value has speed of recession of VIM in their stage of dissipation.

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Correspondence to M. T. Abshaev.

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Original Russian Text © M.T. Abshaev, A.M. Abshaev, A.M. Malkarova, Zh.Yu. Mizieva, 2009, published in Izvestiya AN. Fizika Atmosfery i Okeana, 2009, Vol. 45, No. 6, pp. 782–788.

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Abshaev, M.T., Abshaev, A.M., Malkarova, A.M. et al. Radar estimation of water content in cumulonimbus clouds. Izv. Atmos. Ocean. Phys. 45, 731 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1134/S0001433809060061

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  • Radar
  • Oceanic Physic
  • Precipitation Formation
  • Cloud Layer
  • Cloud Water Content