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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 351-385, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
05 Jan 2012
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). A final paper in ACP is not foreseen.
Potential indirect effects of aerosol on tropical cyclone intensity: convective fluxes and cold-pool activity
G. M. Krall and W. R. Cottom
Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA

Abstract. Observational and model evidence suggest that a 2008 Western Pacific typhoon (NURI) ingested elevated concentrations of aerosol as it neared the Chinese coast. This study uses a regional model with two-moment bin-emulating microphysics to simulate the typhoon as it enters the field of elevated aerosol concentrations. A clean maritime field of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) was prescribed as marine background CCN concentrations and then based on satellite and global aerosol model output, increased to pollution levels and further enhanced in sensitivity tests. The typhoon was simulated for 96 h beginning 17 August 2008. During the final 60 h CCN concentrations were enhanced as it neared the Philippines and coastal China. The model was initialized with both global reanalysis model data and irregularly spaced dropsonde data from the 2008 T-PARC observational campaign using an objective analysis routine. At 36 h, the internal nudging of the model was switched off and allowed to freely evolve on its own. As the typhoon encountered the elevated CCN in the sensitivity tests, a significant perturbation of windspeed, convective fluxes, and hydrometeor species behavior was simulated. Early during the ingestion of enhanced CCN, precipitation was reduced due to suppressed collision and coalescence, and storm winds increased in strength. Subsequently, owing to reduced fall speeds of the smaller drops, greater amounts of condensate were thrust into supercooled levels where the drops froze releasing greater amounts of latent heat of freezing. Convection thereby intensified which resulted in enhanced rainfall and more vigorous convectively-produced downdrafts. As the convection intensified in the outer rainbands the storm drifted over the developing cold-pools. The enhanced cold-pools blocked the inflow of warm, moist air into the core of the typhoon which led to a weakening of the typhoon with significantly reduced low level wind speeds. The very high amounts of pollution aerosols resulted in large amounts of condensate being thrust into the storm anvil which weakened convective downdrafts and cold-pools, yet the system did show reductions in windspeed (although weaker) compared with the clean control run. This study suggests that ingestion of elevated amounts of CCN into a tropical cyclone (TC) can appreciably alter the intensity of the storm. This implies that intensity prediction of TCs would be improved by including indirect aerosol affects. However, the pollution aerosols have very little impact on the storm track.

Citation: Krall, G. M. and Cottom, W. R.: Potential indirect effects of aerosol on tropical cyclone intensity: convective fluxes and cold-pool activity, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 351-385, doi:10.5194/acpd-12-351-2012, 2012.
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