Drizzle suppression in ship tracks

Ronald J. Ferek, Timothy Garrett, Peter V. Hobbs, Scott Strader, Doug Johnson, Jonathan P. Taylor, Kurt Nielsen, Andrew S. Ackerman, Yefim Kogan, Qingfu Liu, Bruce A. Albrecht, David Babb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Although drizzle was a relatively infrequent occurrence during the Monterey Area Ship Track study, diverse measurements from several sources produced data signals consistent with a reduction in drizzle drops in stratus clouds affected by ship effluents. Concurrent increases in liquid water in the cloud droplet size range, due to redistribution from the drizzle mode, were not always observed, possibly because of the relatively small and often negligible amounts of water in the drizzle mode. Significant changes in cloud droplet size distribution, as well as reductions in drizzle flux and concentrations of drops >50-μm radius, were observed in ship tracks when drizzle was more uniformly present in the ambient cloud. Radiometric measurements showed that increased droplet concentrations in ship tracks, which resulted in reduced droplet sizes, can significantly alter the liquid water path. Radar observations indicated that the reduced reflectivities of ship tracks compared with ambient clouds may be due to reductions in the concentrations of larger drops and/or reductions in the sizes of these drops. Two independent modeling studies showed decreases in drizzle in ship tracks due to the presence of smaller cloud droplets that reduced the efficiency of drop growth by collisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2707-2728
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Drizzle suppression in ship tracks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this