92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 1:30 PM
Regional Aerosol Effects on Precipitation: An Observational Study
Room 244 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Kathryn Boyd, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and C. Kummerow

This work examines the effect that increased aerosol concentrations can have on precipitation patterns. It specifically uses data from an ARM mobile facility located in the Azores and the permanent facility in the Southern Great Plains in order to illustrate the differences between a marine and continental environment. Meteorological conditions were taken into account in both locations through surface and sounding data and trends in precipitation were found with increasing aerosol concentrations. The marine site witnessed a suppression of precipitation, consistent with past studies and proposed theories of aerosol effects. This was not true for clouds with high liquid water paths, which is believed to be because these clouds may contain sufficient amounts of water to overcome the aerosol effect. The continental site, however, experienced an opposite trend, with enhancement of precipitation witnessed in all clouds. This is thought to be due to a buffering mechanism in these types of clouds, as introduced by Stevens and Feingold 2009. Results are also separated by cloud type; however, these tended to follow the general results.

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