Model Evaluation of Aerosol Wet Scavenging in Deep Convective Clouds Based on Observations Collected during the DC3 Campaign
Friday, 19 December 2014
Deep convective storms greatly influence the vertical distribution of aerosols by transporting aerosols from the boundary layer to the upper troposphere and by removing aerosols through wet scavenging processes. Model representation of wet scavenging is a major uncertainty in simulating the vertical distribution of aerosols due partly to limited constraints by observations. The effect of wet scavenging on ambient aerosols in deep mid-latitude continental convective clouds is studied for a severe storm case in the vicinity of the ARM Southern Great Plains site on May 29, 2012 during the Deep Convective Clouds and Chemistry Project (DC3) field campaign. A new budget analysis approach is developed to characterize the convective transport to the upper troposphere based on the vertical distribution of several slowly reacting and nearly insoluble trace gases (i.e., CO, acetone, and benzene). A similar budget framework is applied to aerosols combined with the known transport efficiency to estimate wet-scavenging efficiency. The chemistry version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF-Chem) simulates the storm initiation timing and structure reasonably well when compared against radar observations from the NSSL national 3-D reflectivity Mosaic data. Simulated vertical profiles of humidity and temperature also closely agree with radiosonde measurements before and during the storm. High scavenging efficiencies (~80%) for aerosol number (Dp < 2.5μm) and mass (Dp < 1μm) are obtained from the observations. Both observation analyses and the simulation show that, between the two dominant aerosol species, organic aerosol shows a slightly higher scavenging efficiency than sulfate aerosol, and higher scavenging efficiency is found for larger particle sizes (0.15 - 2.5μm versus 0.03 - 0.15μm). However, the model underestimates the wet scavenging efficiency (by up to 50%), in general, for both mass and number concentrations. The effect of neglecting secondary activation above cloud base on this underestimation is quantified by comparing the standard simulation with a simulation that includes a newly implemented secondary activation scheme. A new treatment of ice-borne aerosol is also coupled to the Morrison microphysical scheme in WRF-Chem to improve the representation of aerosol wet scavenging.