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Paul J. Neiman, Natalie Gaggini, Christopher W. Fairall, Joshua Aikins, J. Ryan Spackman, L. Ruby Leung, Jiwen Fan, Joseph Hardin, Nicholas R. Nalli, and Allen B. White


To gain a more complete observational understanding of atmospheric rivers (ARs) over the data-sparse open ocean, a diverse suite of mobile observing platforms deployed on NOAA’s R/V Ronald H. Brown (RHB) and G-IV research aircraft during the CalWater-2015 field campaign was used to describe the structure and evolution of a long-lived AR modulated by six frontal waves over the northeastern Pacific during 20–25 January 2015. Satellite observations and reanalysis diagnostics provided synoptic-scale context, illustrating the warm, moist southwesterly airstream within the quasi-stationary AR situated between an upper-level trough and ridge. The AR remained offshore of the U.S. West Coast but made landfall across British Columbia where heavy precipitation fell. A total of 47 rawinsondes launched from the RHB provided a comprehensive thermodynamic and kinematic depiction of the AR, including uniquely documenting an upward intrusion of strong water vapor transport in the low-level moist southwesterly flow during the passage of frontal waves 2–6. A collocated 1290-MHz wind profiler showed an abrupt frontal transition from southwesterly to northerly flow below 1 km MSL coinciding with the tail end of AR conditions. Shipborne radar and disdrometer observations in the AR uniquely captured key microphysical characteristics of shallow warm rain, convection, and deep mixed-phase precipitation. Novel observations of sea surface fluxes in a midlatitude AR documented persistent ocean surface evaporation and sensible heat transfer into the ocean. The G-IV aircraft flew directly over the ship, with dropsonde and radar spatial analyses complementing the temporal depictions of the AR from the RHB. The AR characteristics varied, depending on the location of the cross section relative to the frontal waves.

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Lulin Xue, Jiwen Fan, Zachary J. Lebo, Wei Wu, Hugh Morrison, Wojciech W. Grabowski, Xia Chu, István Geresdi, Kirk North, Ronald Stenz, Yang Gao, Xiaofeng Lou, Aaron Bansemer, Andrew J. Heymsfield, Greg M. McFarquhar, and Roy M. Rasmussen


The squall-line event on 20 May 2011, during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds (MC3E) field campaign has been simulated by three bin (spectral) microphysics schemes coupled into the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model. Semi-idealized three-dimensional simulations driven by temperature and moisture profiles acquired by a radiosonde released in the preconvection environment at 1200 UTC in Morris, Oklahoma, show that each scheme produced a squall line with features broadly consistent with the observed storm characteristics. However, substantial differences in the details of the simulated dynamic and thermodynamic structure are evident. These differences are attributed to different algorithms and numerical representations of microphysical processes, assumptions of the hydrometeor processes and properties, especially ice particle mass, density, and terminal velocity relationships with size, and the resulting interactions between the microphysics, cold pool, and dynamics. This study shows that different bin microphysics schemes, designed to be conceptually more realistic and thus arguably more accurate than bulk microphysics schemes, still simulate a wide spread of microphysical, thermodynamic, and dynamic characteristics of a squall line, qualitatively similar to the spread of squall-line characteristics using various bulk schemes. Future work may focus on improving the representation of ice particle properties in bin schemes to reduce this uncertainty and using the similar assumptions for all schemes to isolate the impact of physics from numerics.

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Peter J. Marinescu, Susan C. van den Heever, Max Heikenfeld, Andrew I. Barrett, Christian Barthlott, Corinna Hoose, Jiwen Fan, Ann M. Fridlind, Toshi Matsui, Annette K. Miltenberger, Philip Stier, Benoit Vie, Bethan A. White, and Yuwei Zhang


This study presents results from a model intercomparison project, focusing on the range of responses in deep convective cloud updrafts to varying cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) concentrations among seven state-of-the-art cloud-resolving models. Simulations of scattered convective clouds near Houston, Texas, are conducted, after being initialized with both relatively low and high CCN concentrations. Deep convective updrafts are identified, and trends in the updraft intensity and frequency are assessed. The factors contributing to the vertical velocity tendencies are examined to identify the physical processes associated with the CCN-induced updraft changes. The models show several consistent trends. In general, the changes between the High-CCN and Low-CCN simulations in updraft magnitudes throughout the depth of the troposphere are within 15% for all of the models. All models produce stronger (~+5%–15%) mean updrafts from ~4–7 km above ground level (AGL) in the High-CCN simulations, followed by a waning response up to ~8 km AGL in most of the models. Thermal buoyancy was more sensitive than condensate loading to varying CCN concentrations in most of the models and more impactful in the mean updraft responses. However, there are also differences between the models. The change in the amount of deep convective updrafts varies significantly. Furthermore, approximately half the models demonstrate neutral-to-weaker (~−5% to 0%) updrafts above ~8 km AGL, while the other models show stronger (~+10%) updrafts in the High-CCN simulations. The combination of the CCN-induced impacts on the buoyancy and vertical perturbation pressure gradient terms better explains these middle- and upper-tropospheric updraft trends than the buoyancy terms alone.

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Indirect and Semi-direct Aerosol Campaign

The Impact of Arctic Aerosols on Clouds

Greg M. McFarquhar, Steven Ghan, Johannes Verlinde, Alexei Korolev, J. Walter Strapp, Beat Schmid, Jason M. Tomlinson, Mengistu Wolde, Sarah D. Brooks, Dan Cziczo, Manvendra K. Dubey, Jiwen Fan, Connor Flynn, Ismail Gultepe, John Hubbe, Mary K. Gilles, Alexander Laskin, Paul Lawson, W. Richard Leaitch, Peter Liu, Xiaohong Liu, Dan Lubin, Claudio Mazzoleni, Ann-Marie Macdonald, Ryan C. Moffet, Hugh Morrison, Mikhail Ovchinnikov, Matthew D. Shupe, David D. Turner, Shaocheng Xie, Alla Zelenyuk, Kenny Bae, Matt Freer, and Andrew Glen


A comprehensive dataset of microphysical and radiative properties of aerosols and clouds in the boundary layer in the vicinity of Barrow, Alaska, was collected in April 2008 during the Indirect and Semi-Direct Aerosol Campaign (ISDAC). ISDAC's primary aim was to examine the effects of aerosols, including those generated by Asian wildfires, on clouds that contain both liquid and ice. ISDAC utilized the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Pro- gram's permanent observational facilities at Barrow and specially deployed instruments measuring aerosol, ice fog, precipitation, and radiation. The National Research Council of Canada Convair-580 flew 27 sorties and collected data using an unprecedented 41 stateof- the-art cloud and aerosol instruments for more than 100 h on 12 different days. Aerosol compositions, including fresh and processed sea salt, biomassburning particles, organics, and sulfates mixed with organics, varied between flights. Observations in a dense arctic haze on 19 April and above, within, and below the single-layer stratocumulus on 8 and 26 April are enabling a process-oriented understanding of how aerosols affect arctic clouds. Inhomogeneities in reflectivity, a close coupling of upward and downward Doppler motion, and a nearly constant ice profile in the single-layer stratocumulus suggests that vertical mixing is responsible for its longevity observed during ISDAC. Data acquired in cirrus on flights between Barrow and Fairbanks, Alaska, are improving the understanding of the performance of cloud probes in ice. Ultimately, ISDAC data will improve the representation of cloud and aerosol processes in models covering a variety of spatial and temporal scales, and determine the extent to which surface measurements can provide retrievals of aerosols, clouds, precipitation, and radiative heating.

A supplement to this article is available online:

DOI: 10.1175/2010BAMS2935.2

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