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Mary C. Barth

Abstract

To better understand the impact of various meteorological and chemical parameters on chemical deposition from winter storms, the chemistry and microphysics of a narrow cold-frontal rainband and its associated stratiform region were examined with a two-dimensional numerical cloud model. The peak precipitation was associated with the lifting at the leading edge of the cold front. However, the peak sulfate deposition occurred behind the primary updraft, where melting graupel was the dominant source of precipitation, and in the leading rainband. The peak nitrate deposition occurred behind the main updraft and at the leading edge of the main updraft. Sulfur dioxide, aerosol nitrate, and peroxyacetylnitrate were transported to higher altitudes, while aerosol sulfate, nitric acid, and hydrogen peroxide were depleted by the storm. Examination of the pathways for oxidizing aqueous sulfur dioxide showed that iron-catalyzed aerobic oxidation was an important mechanism for converting sulfur dioxide to sulfate. Sensitivity studies of the chemical parameters indicated that this was a sulfur-limited storm rather than an oxidant-limited one, and that nitric acid contributed significantly to the deposition of nitrate. The presence of graupel in the storm controlled the pattern of sulfate and nitrate deposition.

Because this model has a sound dynamical framework, the influence of meteorological parameters on the chemical deposition can be studied in detail. When the depth of the storm was increased, the accumulated sulfate deposition decreased, while the accumulated precipitation increased. When the initial shear for the storm was decreased, the accumulated sulfate deposition increased, while the accumulated precipitation decreased. This inverse correlation between sulfate deposition and accumulated precipitation or peak vertical velocities in the storm's updraft should be considered when parameterizing sulfur transport and deposition with a large-scale model.

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Mary C. Barth and David B. Parsons

Abstract

Previous studies have shown that a surface cold front often coincides with a heavy band of precipitation commonly designated as a narrow cold-frontal rainband. The maximum rainfall rate within this band can exceed 100–200 mm h−1. This study uses a nonhydrostatic two-dimensional cloud model with ice microphysics to investigate the precipitation processes within this type of rainband. Despite the relatively simple initialization and two-dimensionality, many aspects of these storms were well simulated. In these simulations, the intense but shallow updrafts produced large amounts of cloud water that were transformed primarily into rain and graupel within the zone of heavy precipitation and, to a lesser extent, into snow. The graupel and snow produced a zone of trailing stratiform precipitation. While the heavy rainfall could be represented in a warm rain model of the storm, an ice phase was needed in order to replicate the stratiform precipitation. Feedbacks of microphysical processes upon the dynamics of the flow were investigated. Sublimation and melting of frozen hydrometeors produced a pronounced cooling within the cold air mass, which slowly increased the depth and intensity of the cold air mass. This diabatic cooling within the cold air could potentially play a role in maintaining or even intensifying the circulations that lead to these rainbands. Previous studies of these types of fronts have instead concentrated on the role of melting in maintaining these structures through producing a stable layer across the cold air interface that could inhibit mixing.

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Chun-Ho Liu and Mary C. Barth

Abstract

This study uses large-eddy simulation (LES) to illustrate the flow and turbulence structure and to investigate the mechanism of passive scalar transport in a street canyon. Calculations for a modeled street canyon with building-height-to-street-width ratio of unity at Reynolds number equal to 12 000 are conducted. When the approaching wind is perpendicular to the street axis, the calculation produces a primary vortex in the street canyon, similar to previous studies. An evaluation of the LES results with wind-tunnel measurements reveals good agreement for both mean and turbulence parameters of the flow and scalar fields. The computed primary vortex is confined to the street canyon and is isolated from the free stream flow such that the removal of a scalar emitted at the street level is accomplished by turbulent diffusion at the roof level. It is determined from the calculations that very little scalar is removed from the street canyon, and 97% of the scalar is retained. The scalar mixing at the roof level occurs primarily on the leeward side of the street canyon. In addition to the primary vortex, three secondary vortices are located in the corners of the street canyon at which scalar mixing is enhanced. An examination of additional simulations shows how the location of the scalar source affects the distribution of the scalar.

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Chun-Ho Liu, Mary C. Barth, and Dennis Y. C. Leung

Abstract

This study employs a large-eddy simulation technique to investigate the flow, turbulence structure, and pollutant transport in street canyons of building-height-to-street-width (aspect) ratios of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 at a Reynolds number of 12 000 and a Schmidt number of 0.72. When the approaching wind is perpendicular to the street axis, a single primary recirculation is calculated for the street canyons of aspect ratios 0.5 and 1.0, and two vertically aligned, counterrotating primary recirculations are found for the street canyon of aspect ratio 2.0. Two to three secondary recirculations are also calculated at the corners of the street canyons. A ground-level passive pollutant line source is used to simulate vehicular emission. The turbulence intensities, pollutant concentration variance, and pollutant fluxes are analyzed to show that the pollutant removal by turbulent transport occurs at the leeward roof level for all aspect ratios. Whereas the ground-level pollutant concentration is greatest at the leeward corner of the street canyons of aspect ratios 0.5 and 1.0, the ground-level pollutant concentration in a street canyon of aspect ratio 2.0 occurs at the windward corner and is greater than the peak concentrations of the other two cases. Because of the smaller ground-level wind speed and the domination of turbulent pollutant transport between the vertically aligned recirculations, the ground-level air quality is poor in street canyons of large aspect ratios. The retention of pollutant in the street canyons is calculated to be 95%, 97%, and 99% for aspect ratios of 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0, respectively.

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Si-Wan Kim, Chin-Hoh Moeng, Jeffrey C. Weil, and Mary C. Barth

Abstract

A Lagrangian particle dispersion model (LPDM) is used to study fumigation of pollutants in and above the entrainment zone into a growing convective boundary layer. Probability density functions of particle location with height and time are calculated from particle trajectories driven by the sum of the resolved-scale velocity from a large-eddy simulation (LES) model and the stochastic subgrid-scale (SGS) velocity. The crosswind-integrated concentration (CWIC) fields show good agreement with water tank experimental data. A comparison of the LPDM output with an Eulerian diffusion model output based on the same LES flow shows qualitative agreement with each other except that a greater overshoot maximum of the ground-level concentration occurs in the Eulerian model.

The dimensionless CWICs near the surface for sources located above the entrainment zone collapse to a nearly universal curve provided that the profiles are time shifted, where the shift depends on the source heights. The dimensionless CWICs for sources located within the entrainment zone show a different behavior. Thus, fumigation from sources above the entrainment zone and within the entrainment zone should be treated separately. An examination of the application of Taylor’s translation hypothesis to the fumigation process showed the importance of using the mean boundary layer wind speed as a function of time rather than the initial mean boundary layer wind speed, because the mean boundary layer wind speed decreases as the simulation proceeds.

The LPDM using LES is capable of accurately simulating fumigation of particles into the convective boundary layer. This technique provides more computationally efficient simulations than Eulerian models.

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Po-Fat Yuen, Dean A. Hegg, Timothy V. Larson, and Mary C. Barth

Abstract

Comparison of in-cloud sulfate production by a bulk-parameterized cloud model, a modified bulk parameterized model, and an explicit microphysical model for a wide variety of scenarios has been used as the basis for deriving a parameterization of the effects of heterogeneous cloud chemistry on in-cloud sulfate production. The parameterization, essentially a transfer function relating bulk and explicit model predictions, can be easily employed in large-scale Eulerian cloud models and has been demonstrated to have significant impact on predictions of sulfate deposition.

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Gretchen L. Mullendore, Mary C. Barth, Petra M. Klein, and James H. Crawford

Abstract

Historically, atmospheric field campaigns typically focused on either meteorology or chemistry with very limited complementary observations from the other discipline. In contrast, a growing number of researchers are working across subdisciplines to include meteorological and chemical measurements when planning field campaigns to increase the value of the collected datasets for subsequent analyses. Including select trace gas measurements should be intrinsic to certain dynamics campaigns, as they can add insights into dynamical processes. This paper highlights the mutual benefits of joint dynamics–chemistry campaigns by reporting on a small sample of examples across a broad range of meteorological scales to demonstrate the value of this strategy, with focus on the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) campaign as a recent example. General recommendations are presented as well as specific recommendations of chemical species appropriate for a range of meteorological temporal and spatial scales.

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Jerome D. Fast, William I. Gustafson Jr., Elaine G. Chapman, Richard C. Easter, Jeremy P. Rishel, Rahul A. Zaveri, Georg A. Grell, and Mary C. Barth

Abstract

The current paradigm of developing and testing new aerosol process modules is haphazard and slow. Aerosol modules are often tested for short simulation periods using limited data so that their overall performance over a wide range of meteorological conditions is not thoroughly evaluated. Although several model intercomparison studies quantify the differences among aerosol modules, the range of answers provides little insight on how to best improve aerosol predictions. Understanding the true impact of an aerosol process module is also complicated by the fact that other processes—such as emissions, meteorology, and chemistry—are often treated differently. To address this issue, the authors have developed an Aerosol Modeling Testbed (AMT) with the objective of providing a new approach to test and evaluate new aerosol process modules. The AMT consists of a more modular version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) and a suite of tools to evaluate the performance of aerosol process modules via comparison with a wide range of field measurements. Their approach systematically targets specific aerosol process modules, whereas all the other processes are treated the same. The suite of evaluation tools will streamline the process of quantifying model performance and eliminate redundant work performed among various scientists working on the same problem. Both the performance and computational expense will be quantified over time. The use of a test bed to foster collaborations among the aerosol scientific community is an important aspect of the AMT; consequently, the longterm development and use of the AMT needs to be guided by users.

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Bart Geerts, David J. Raymond, Vanda Grubišić, Christopher A. Davis, Mary C. Barth, Andrew Detwiler, Petra M. Klein, Wen-Chau Lee, Paul M. Markowski, Gretchen L. Mullendore, and James A. Moore

Abstract

Recommendations are presented for in situ and remote sensing instruments and capabilities needed to advance the study of convection and turbulence in the atmosphere. These recommendations emerged from a community workshop held on 22–24 May 2017 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Four areas of research were distinguished at this workshop: i) boundary layer flows, including convective and stable boundary layers over heterogeneous land use and terrain conditions; ii) dynamics and thermodynamics of convection, including deep and shallow convection and continental and maritime convection; iii) turbulence above the boundary layer in clouds and in clear air, terrain driven and elsewhere; and iv) cloud microphysical and chemical processes in convection, including cloud electricity and lightning.

The recommendations presented herein address a series of facilities and capabilities, ranging from existing ones that continue to fulfill science needs and thus should be retained and/or incrementally improved, to urgently needed new facilities, to desired capabilities for which no adequate solutions are as yet on the horizon. A common thread among all recommendations is the need for more highly resolved sampling, both in space and in time. Significant progress is anticipated, especially through the improved availability of airborne and ground-based remote sensors to the National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported community.

Open access
Sara Lance, Jie Zhang, James J. Schwab, Paul Casson, Richard E. Brandt, David R. Fitzjarrald, Margaret J. Schwab, John Sicker, Cheng-Hsuan Lu, Sheng-Po Chen, Jeongran Yun, Jeffrey M. Freedman, Bhupal Shrestha, Qilong Min, Mark Beauharnois, Brian Crandall, Everette Joseph, Matthew J. Brewer, Justin R. Minder, Daniel Orlowski, Amy Christiansen, Annmarie G. Carlton, and Mary C. Barth

Abstract

Aqueous chemical processing within cloud and fog water is thought to be a key process in the production and transformation of secondary organic aerosol mass, found abundantly and ubiquitously throughout the troposphere. Yet, significant uncertainty remains regarding the organic chemical reactions taking place within clouds and the conditions under which those reactions occur, owing to the wide variety of organic compounds and their evolution under highly variable conditions when cycled through clouds. Continuous observations from a fixed remote site like Whiteface Mountain (WFM) in New York State and other mountaintop sites have been used to unravel complex multiphase interactions in the past, particularly the conversion of gas-phase emissions of SO2 to sulfuric acid within cloud droplets in the presence of sunlight. These scientific insights led to successful control strategies that reduced aerosol sulfate and cloud water acidity substantially over the following decades. This paper provides an overview of observations obtained during a pilot study that took place at WFM in August 2017 aimed at obtaining a better understanding of Chemical Processing of Organic Compounds within Clouds (CPOC). During the CPOC pilot study, aerosol cloud activation efficiency, particle size distribution, and chemical composition measurements were obtained below-cloud for comparison to routine observations at WFM, including cloud water composition and reactive trace gases. Additional instruments deployed for the CPOC pilot study included a Doppler lidar, sun photometer, and radiosondes to assist in evaluating the meteorological context for the below-cloud and summit observations.

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