LIGHT SCATTERING AND PARTICLE AGGREGATION IN SNOWSTORMS.
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER N H
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Attenuation of visible radiation by falling snow was studied by a method based on brightness contrast between topographic features and the adjacent sky. Extinction coefficient and visual range are related to snow density, and are compared with data for Antarctic blizzards. Since attenuation depends more on the size and concentration of discrete particles than on the mass density of suspended snow, the process of particle aggregation and snowflake formation during fall is considered by collision theory, and an expression describing aggregation effects is developed. This offers an explanation for the relative constancy of particle concentration observed at ground level during snowfalls of varying intensity. Since there is no strong justification for relating extinction coefficient to snow density, an empirical correlation between extinction coefficient and precipitation rate is given for practical use. It is shown that visual range estimated by eye in hilly terrain may be less than the true value, since sky brightness is locally reduced over broad hilltops with low albedo. Author
- Atmospheric Physics
- Snow, Ice and Permafrost