A Climatological View of Horizontal Ice Plates in Clouds: Findings From Nadir and Off-Nadir CALIPSO Observations

M. Kikuchi, H. Okamoto, K. Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


We study horizontal ice plates in clouds using satellite lidar measurements of the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO). This study investigates global microphysical and geographical properties of horizontal ice plates to obtain insights into ice-plate climatology based on lidar’s long-term measurements during 2006–2014. We then summarize the effects of the lidar's viewing angle change from 0.3° to 3.0° in 2007 on satellite particle phase/shape classifications. Using a classification algorithm developed in the previous studies, we show that the ice plate detection decreases by 81.7% due the tilting. With an updated version of this algorithm, 30.8% of these are recovered, although 50.8% remain undetected. Nevertheless, this study also shows that geographical characteristics of ice plates are still preserved during the off-nadir period (within the remaining 50%), suggesting the undiscovered climatological information on ice plates in the post-2007 observations. According to our analysis, the tilting mainly affects horizontal ice plate detection, while the impacts on water and randomly oriented ice detections are limited. The temperature of the ice plates ranges from −25.5°C and −7.5°C, with a mode temperature of −13.5°C, although the ice plates also occur ubiquitously across mid- to high-latitudes between −20°C and −40°C, which is much colder than what found in previous nadir studies. This study offers a detailed discussion on the fundamental characteristics of horizontal ice plates that will provide robust information for the algorithm preparation for future satellite lidar observations such as the Earth, Clouds, Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020JD033562
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 16 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A Climatological View of Horizontal Ice Plates in Clouds: Findings From Nadir and Off-Nadir CALIPSO Observations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this