Impacts of long-range-transported mineral dust on summertime convective cloud and precipitation: a case study over the Taiwan region
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Abstract. As one of the most abundant atmospheric aerosols and effective ice nuclei, mineral dust affects clouds and precipitation in the Earth system. Here numerical experiments are carried out to investigate the impacts of dust aerosols on summertime convective clouds and precipitation over the mountainous region of Taiwan by acting as ice-nucleating particles. We run the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF) with the Morrison two-moment and spectral-bin microphysics (SBM) schemes at 3
... km resolution, using dust number concentrations from a global chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem-APM). The case study indicates that the long-range-transported mineral dust, with relatively low number concentrations, can notably affect the properties of convective clouds (ice and liquid water contents, cloud top height, and cloud coverage) and precipitation (spatial pattern and intensity). The effects of dust are evident during strong convective periods, with significantly increased ice water contents in the mixed-phase regime via the enhanced heterogeneous freezing. With both the Morrison and SBM schemes, we see the invigoration effects of dust aerosols on the convective intensity through enhanced condensation and deposition latent heating. The low-altitude dust particles are uplifted to the freezing level by updrafts, which, in turn, enhance the convective cloud development through immersion freezing and convective invigoration. Compared to the Morrison scheme, the SBM scheme predicts more realistic precipitation and different invigoration effects of dust. The differences are partially attributed to the saturation adjustment approach utilized in the bulk scheme, which leads to a stronger enhancement of condensation at midlatitudes to low altitudes and a weaker deposition increase at the upper level.