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Simulation of Cloud Microphysical and Chemical Processes Using a Multicomponent Framework. Part II: Microphysical Evolution of a Wintertime Orographic Cloud

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan
  • | 2 Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
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Abstract

A detailed microphysical model is used to simulate the formation of wintertime orographic clouds in a two-dimensional domain under steady-state conditions. Mass contents and number concentrations of both liquid- and ice-phase cloud particles are calculated to be in reasonable agreement with observations. The ice particles in the cloud, as well as those precipitated to the surface, are classified into small cloud ice, planar crystals, columnar crystals, heavily rimed crystals, and crystal aggregates. Detailed examination of the results reveals that contact nucleation and rime splintering are the major ice-production mechanisms functioning in the warmer part of the cloud, whereas deposition/condensation-freezing nucleation is dominant at the upper levels. Surface precipitation, either in the form of rain or snow, develops mainly through riming and aggregation, removing over 17% of the total water vapor that entered the cloud.

The spectral distributions of cloud particles in a multicomponent framework provide information not only on particle sizes but also on their solute contents and, for ice particles, their shapes. Examination of these multicomponent distributions reveals the mechanisms of particle formation and interaction, as well as the adaptation of crystal habits to the ambient conditions. Additional simulations were done to test the sensitivity of cloud and precipitation formation to the size distribution of aerosol particles. It is found that the size distribution of aerosol particles has significant influence on not only the warm-cloud processes, but also the cold-cloud processes. A reduction in aerosol particle concentration not only causes an earlier precipitation development but also an increase in the amount of total precipitation from the orographic clouds.

Corresponding author address: Jen-Ping Chen, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, No. 61, Lane 144, Section 4, Keelung Road, Taipei City, Taiwan 10772, R.O.C.

Email: jpchen@water.as.ntu.edu.tw

Abstract

A detailed microphysical model is used to simulate the formation of wintertime orographic clouds in a two-dimensional domain under steady-state conditions. Mass contents and number concentrations of both liquid- and ice-phase cloud particles are calculated to be in reasonable agreement with observations. The ice particles in the cloud, as well as those precipitated to the surface, are classified into small cloud ice, planar crystals, columnar crystals, heavily rimed crystals, and crystal aggregates. Detailed examination of the results reveals that contact nucleation and rime splintering are the major ice-production mechanisms functioning in the warmer part of the cloud, whereas deposition/condensation-freezing nucleation is dominant at the upper levels. Surface precipitation, either in the form of rain or snow, develops mainly through riming and aggregation, removing over 17% of the total water vapor that entered the cloud.

The spectral distributions of cloud particles in a multicomponent framework provide information not only on particle sizes but also on their solute contents and, for ice particles, their shapes. Examination of these multicomponent distributions reveals the mechanisms of particle formation and interaction, as well as the adaptation of crystal habits to the ambient conditions. Additional simulations were done to test the sensitivity of cloud and precipitation formation to the size distribution of aerosol particles. It is found that the size distribution of aerosol particles has significant influence on not only the warm-cloud processes, but also the cold-cloud processes. A reduction in aerosol particle concentration not only causes an earlier precipitation development but also an increase in the amount of total precipitation from the orographic clouds.

Corresponding author address: Jen-Ping Chen, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, National Taiwan University, No. 61, Lane 144, Section 4, Keelung Road, Taipei City, Taiwan 10772, R.O.C.

Email: jpchen@water.as.ntu.edu.tw

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