6.6 Observed and Synthetic Satellite Imagery of Aerosol Influences on Thunderstorm Anvils

Wednesday, 9 January 2013: 12:00 AM
Room 5ABC (Austin Convention Center)
Lewis Grasso, CIRA/Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO; and R. Brummer, R. T. DeMaria, D. T. Lindsey, and D. W. Hillger

At times, satellite imagery indicates a significant difference in the observed radiances between two thunderstorm anvils at 3.9 ┬Ám. Recent studies have suggested that differential aerosol loading in the inflow region of thunderstorms may have an impact on the size of ice crystals in the anvil region of thunderstorms. Different ice crystal sizes have an impact on the reflection of solar energy, thus, the different appearance of anvils in satellite imagery.

As a first step, a simulation of the thunderstorm event of 27 June 2005 was conducted. This case was chosen because of the different appearance of two separate anvils over the upper Midwest. Synthetic satellite imagery was generated from the numerical model output. Results demonstrate the value of using synthetic satellite imagery to compare simulated cloud properties directly with observed satellite imagery.

Results from the above work will be shown along with observed satellite imagery of smoke plumes from wildfires interacting with thunderstorms. In addition, synthetic satellite imagery of an idealized volcanic ash plume will be presented.

Disclaimer: The views, opinions, and findings contained in this article are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or U.S. Government position, policy, or decision.

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