5 Biomass Burning Smoke and Deep Convection during the 2011 Midlatitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E)

Monday, 11 January 2016
Timothy Logan, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Three deep convective cloud cases were selected during the 2011 Mid-Latitude Continental Convective Clouds Experiment (MC3E). Although biomass burning smoke advected from Mexico and Central America was the dominant source of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) for deep convective cloud formation, the 11 May, 20 May, and 23 May cases exhibited different convective characteristics. The convection in the 11 May and 23 May cases formed in smoke laden environments in the presence of convective available potential energy (CAPE) values exceeding 1000 m2 s-2 and 3000 m2 s-2 along with low-level (0-1 km) shear of 10.3 m s-1 and 5.1 m s-1, respectively. The 11 May case had linear convection while the 23 May case featured discrete supercells. The 20 May case featured elevated linear convection that formed in a more moist environment with cleaner aerosol conditions, weak CAPE (<50 m2 s-2), and stronger low-level shear (25.6 m s-1). Though the 20 May case had the highest precipitation amount and duration, the 23 May case had the highest ice water content (IWC) in the upper levels of the convection (>9 km) suggesting a warm rain suppression mechanism caused by a combination of strong aerosol loading, large CAPE, and weak low-level wind shear. The observed results for the 20 May and 23 May cases agree well with recent modeling studies that simulated the convection and precipitation in these cases. Furthermore, the modeling of the 11 May case is suggested since the abundant amount of smoke CCN did not greatly enhance the overall precipitation amount and could be a possible aerosol-induced precipitation suppression case.
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