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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-702
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-702
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 30 Jul 2018

Research article | 30 Jul 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).

Contrasting Local and Long-Range Transported Warm Ice-Nucleating Particles During an Atmospheric River in Coastal California, USA

Andrew C. Martin1, Gavin Cornwell2, Charlotte Marie Beall3, Forest Cannon1, Sean Reilly4, Bas Schaap3, Dolan Lucero2, Jessie Creamean5,6, F. Martin Ralph1, Hari T. Mix4, and Kimberly Prather2,3 Andrew C. Martin et al.
  • 1Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
  • 2Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
  • 3Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, La Jolla, CA
  • 4Santa Clara University, Dept. of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Santa Clara, CA
  • 5Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
  • 6Physical Sciences Division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, CO

Abstract. Ice nucleating particles (INP) have been found to influence the amount, phase, and efficiency of precipitation from winter storms, including atmospheric rivers. Warm INP, those that initiate freezing at temperatures warmer than −10°C, are thought to be particularly impactful because they can create primary ice in mixed-phase clouds, enhancing precipitation efficiency. The dominant sources of warm INP during atmospheric rivers, the role of meteorology in modulating transport and injection of warm INP into atmospheric river clouds and the impact of warm INP on mixed-phase cloud properties are not well-understood. Time-resolved precipitation samples were collected during an atmospheric river in Northern California, USA during winter 2016. Precipitation was collected at two sites, one coastal and one inland, that are separated by less than 35km. The sites are sufficiently close that airmass sources during this storm were almost identical, but the inland site was exposed to terrestrial sources of warm INP while the coastal site was not. Warm INP were more numerous in precipitation at the inland site by an order of magnitude. Using FLEXPART dispersion modelling and radar-derived cloud vertical structure, we detected influence from terrestrial INP sources at the inland site, but did not find clear evidence of marine warm INP at either site. We episodically detected warm INP from long-range transported sources at both sites. By extending the FLEXPART modelling using a meteorological reanalysis, we demonstrate that long-range transported warm INP are observed only when the upper tropospheric jet provided transport to cloud tops. Using radar-derived hydrometeor classifications, we demonstrate that hydrometeors over the terrestrially-influenced inland site were more likely to be in the ice phase for cloud temperatures between 0°C and −10°C. We thus conclude that terrestrial and long-range transported aerosol were important sources of warm INP during this atmospheric river. Meteorological details such as transport mechanism and cloud structure were important in determining warm INP source strength and injection temperature, and ultimately the impact of warm INP on mixed phase cloud properties.

Andrew C. Martin et al.
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Data from: Contrasting Local and Long-Range Transported Warm Ice-Nucleating Particles During an Atmospheric River in Coastal California A. Martin, G. Cornwell, C. M. Beall, F. Cannon, S. Reilly, B. Schaap, D. Lucero, J. Creamean, F. M. Ralph, H. T. Mix, and K. Prather https://doi.org/10.6075/J05X274R

Andrew C. Martin et al.
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Short summary
Aerosols that promote ice formation in clouds were investigated during an atmospheric river that caused significant rain in northern California. We found that biological particles produced by local terrestrial ecosystems greatly enhanced cloud ice when meteorology allowed for their injection to the storm. The local terrestrial particles had greater impact on clouds than particles transported from across the Pacific Ocean, lending additional insight to which aerosols are important for cloud ice.
Aerosols that promote ice formation in clouds were investigated during an atmospheric river that...
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