University of Innsbruck

ACINN Graduate Seminar - SS 2023

2023-03-15 at 12:00 (on-line and on-site)

Long-term remote-sensing observations of clouds and precipitation at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus

Stefan Kneifel

Meteorologisches Institut, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), Germany

Clouds and precipitation over mountainous terrain are a challenge for models and observations alike. Modern remote sensing instruments, such as cloud radar, lidar, and microwave radiometer (MWR) provide the opportunity to continuously observe vertical profiles of water vapor, temperature, aerosols, cloud liquid, ice, snow, and rainfall. In this talk, the unique remote sensing instrumentation installed at the Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus (UFS) at 2650 m a.s.l. below the Zugspitze will be introduced and examples of its capabilities will be presented.

The talk will also provide an overview of a first statistical analysis of the one-decade long remote-sensing dataset collected at the UFS. The annual and diurnal cycles of water vapor, cloud liquid water, cloud ice, rainfall, and snowfall rate indicate for example strong differences between summer and winter hinting at the different coupling and transport mechanisms. The synergy of radar and MWR also reveals that almost 90 % of the snow clouds contained significant amounts of super-cooled liquid water which highlights the importance of mixed-phase microphysical processes for orographic precipitation.

The still growing remote-sensing dataset at this very particular location has a unique potential for many applications, e.g. to investigate cloud processes, evaluate high resolution models, or to validate satellite products. Ideas for future research topics will be given in an outlook which are also aimed to trigger a discussion about potential future collaborations.



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