13.1 Analysis and Modeling of Trace Gases and Aerosols in Severe Convection: The 22 June 2012 DC3 Case (Invited Presentation)

Wednesday, 25 January 2017: 1:30 PM
4C-3 (Washington State Convention Center )
Mary C. Barth, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and E. C. Apel, M. M. Bela, A. Fried, B. R. Fuchs, K. E. Pickering, I. Pollack, and S. A. Rutledge

The Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry (DC3) field campaign aimed to quantify and characterize the dynamics, physics, lightning, and transport of trace gases and aerosols in convection, as well as the chemical aging of convective outflow plumes in the upper troposphere. These goals were met by deploying radars, lightning mapping arrays, weather balloons, and aircraft to sample storms in northeast Colorado, west Texas to central Oklahoma, and northern Alabama. Here, we use one case, 22 June 2012 severe convection in northeast Colorado and southwest Nebraska, as an example for quantifying and predicting convective transport of trace gases and aerosols, lightning flash rate, lightning production of nitrogen oxides, and subsequent ozone production downwind of the storms. This case was unique in that one severe storm ingested a wildfire smoke plume at ~7 km altitude while other storms in the area did not. Several analyses of this case have been done using the aircraft composition measurements, dual-Doppler and polarimetric radar products, and lightning mapping array data. It was determined that the storm unaffected by the High Park fire smoke plume had a 4.8±0.9%/km entrainment rate and estimated scavenging efficiencies of CH2O, H2O2, CH3OOH, SO2, and HNO3 of 41±4%, 79±19, 44±47%, 92±4%, 95±12%, respectively. Total (intracloud and cloud-to-ground) lightning flash rates were 98-106 flashes per minute when the aircraft were sampling the outflow of the storms, resulting in an estimate of lightning-NOx production of 142±25 moles NO per flash. Box modeling simulations estimate the production of O3 in the convective outflow of these storms to be 11-14 ppbv over 2 days. These results are used to evaluate the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with Chemistry (WRF-Chem) to learn how well a state-of-the-art model represents the storm processing of trace gases. The WRF-Chem simulations are analyzed further to examine the effect of aerosols in the smoke plume on the storm characteristics, including precipitation, convective transport, lightning flash rate, and lightning-NOx production.
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