The Dominant Snow-forming Process in Warm and Cold Mixed-phase Orographic Clouds: Effects of Cloud Condensation Nuclei and Ice Nuclei

Friday, 19 December 2014
Jiwen Fan, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, United States, Daniel Rosenfeld, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, L. Ruby Leung, Pac NW National Lab, Richland, WA, United States and Paul J DeMott, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States
Mineral dust aerosols often observed over California in winter and spring from long-range transport can be efficient ice nuclei (IN) and enhance snow precipitation in mixed-phase orographic clouds. On the other hand, local pollution particles can serve as good CCN and suppress warm rain, but their impacts on cold rain processes are uncertain. The main snow-forming mechanism in warm and cold mixed-phase orographic clouds (refer to as WMOC and CMOC, respectively) could be very different, leading to different precipitation response to CCN and IN. We have conducted 1-km resolution model simulations using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model coupled with a spectral-bin cloud microphysical model for WMOC and CMOC cases from CalWater2011. We investigated the response of cloud microphysical processes and precipitation to CCN and IN with extremely low to extremely high concentrations using ice nucleation parameterizations that connect with dust and implemented based on observational evidences. We find that riming is the dominant process for producing snow in WMOC while deposition plays a more important role than riming in CMOC. Increasing IN leads to much more snow precipitation mainly due to an increase of deposition in CMOC and increased rimming in WMOC. Increasing CCN decreases precipitation in WMOC by efficiently suppressing warm rain, although snow is increased. In CMOC where cold rain dominates, increasing CCN significantly increases snow, leading to a net increase in precipitation. The sensitivity of supercooled liquid to CCN and IN has also been analyzed. The mechanism for the increased snow by CCN and caveats due to uncertainties in ice nucleation parameterizations will be discussed.