The effect of ice crystal size and shape on the relation between radar reflectivity and optical extinction is examined. Discrete-dipole approximation calculations of 95-GHz radar reflectivity and ray-tracing calculations are applied to ice crystals of various habits and sizes. Ray tracing was used primarily to calculate optical extinction and to provide approximate information on the lidar backscatter cross section. The results of the combined calculations are compared with Mie calculations applied to collections of different types of equivalent spheres. Various equivalent sphere formulations are considered, including equivalent radar-lidar spheres; equivalent maximum dimension spheres; equivalent area spheres, and equivalent volume and equivalent effective radius spheres. Marked differences are found with respect to the accuracy of different formulations, and certain types of equivalent spheres can be used for useful prediction of both the radar reflectivity at 95 GHz and the optical extinction (but not lidar backscatter cross section) over a wide range of particle sizes. The implications of these results on combined lidar-radar ice cloud remote sensing are discussed.
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