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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1072
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-1072
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 16 Nov 2018

Research article | 16 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Diurnal variation of heavy rainfall over the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region: Role of aerosol cloud effect and its sensitivity to moisture

Siyuan Zhou1, Jing Yang1,2, Chuanfeng Zhao2,3, Wei-Chyung Wang4, Daoyi Gong1,2, and Peijun Shi1,2 Siyuan Zhou et al.
  • 1Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Earth Surface Process and Resource Ecology, Beijing Normal University, China
  • 3College of Global Change and Earth System Science, Beijing Normal University, China
  • 4Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Albany, New York 12203, USA

Abstract. Our recent study found that, during 2002–2012, the diurnal variation of heavy rainfall over Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region exhibits different characteristics between clean and polluted environment. Here we use satellite cloud products together with meteorology and aerosol data to further examine the aerosol impact on the associated clouds focusing on its sensitivity to moisture. During the days with large aerosol loading, the characteristics of earlier starting time, earlier peak hour and the longer duration of heavy rainfall are usually accompanied by increased cloud fraction, reduced cloud top height and increased/reduced liquid/ice effective radius. However, the aerosol effects on the cloud top and liquid effective radius are distinct at lower and higher humidity. Different from the radiative effect that black carbon heats the lower troposphere and may generate the earlier start of heavy rainfall, the aerosol cloud effect enhances the efficiency of precipitation and advances the rainfall peak, which may be ascribed to increased cloud droplet number and cloud water, enhanced collision-coalescence and accelerated rainfall formation when the background moisture supply is sufficient. The speculation warrants further numerical experiment to verify.

Siyuan Zhou et al.
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Short summary
Aerosol-cloud-precipitation interaction is a challenging problem in regional climate. Our study contrasted the observed diurnal variation of heavy rainfall and associated clouds in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region between polluted and clean days during 11 summers. We found the heavy rainfall under pollution has earlier starting time, earlier peak time and longer duration, and further found aerosol radiative effect and cloud effect play different roles on different stages of rainfall development.
Aerosol-cloud-precipitation interaction is a challenging problem in regional climate. Our study...
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