A small fraction of freezing cloud droplets probably initiates much of the precipitation above continents. Only a minute fraction of aerosol particles, so-called ice-nucleating particles (INPs), can trigger initial ice formation at -15 .sup." C, at which cloud-top temperatures are frequently associated with snowfall. At a mountaintop site in the Swiss Alps, we found that concentrations of INPs active at -15 .sup." C can be parameterised by different functions of coarse ( 2 Âµm) aerosol particle concentrations, depending on whether an air mass is (a) precipitating, (b) non-precipitating, or (c) carrying a substantial fraction of dust particles while non-precipitating. Consequently, we suggest that a parameterisation at moderate supercooling should consider coarse particles in combination with air mass differentiation.