Characterization of the aerosol environment in spring 2011 during the Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Sonia M. Kreidenweis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO; and P. J. Marinescu, S. C. van den Heever, A. Jefferson, C. Kuang, J. Wang, and D. R. Collins

We present an analysis of aerosol data from the ARM archive at the Southern Great Plains site, focusing on April and May 2011 during the MC3E field study. Our goal is to understand the types and abundance of cloud-active particles present during the formation and evolution of several mesoscale convective systems that were intensively observed during the study. The large-scale aerosol environment was influenced by a variety of highly variable sources, including frequent intrusions of biomass burning plumes from Mexico that were transported above the boundary layer into the region. Aerosol composition data indicate that, on average, organic species contributed to one-third of the submicron aerosol mass, with excursions to as high as 90% of the mass. CCN spectra were constructed for varying aerosol number concentrations and compared with available size distribution measurements.