Effect of hygroscopic seeding on warm rain clouds – numerical study using a hybrid cloud microphysical model
- 1Research Institute for Global Change, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Yokohama, Japan
- 2Meteorological Research Institute (MRI), Tsukuba, Japan
Abstract. The effect of hygroscopic seeding on warm rain clouds was examined using a hybrid cloud microphysical model combining a Lagrangian Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) activation model, a semi-Lagrangian droplet growth model, and an Eulerian spatial model for advection and sedimentation of droplets. This hybrid cloud microphysical model accurately estimated the effects of CCN on cloud microstructure and suggested the following conclusions for a moderate continental air mass (an air mass with a large number of background CCN). (1) Seeding can hasten the onset of surface rainfall and increase the accumulated amount of surface rainfall if the amount and radius of seeding particles are appropriate. (2) The optimal radius of monodisperse particles to increase rainfall becomes larger with the increase in the total mass of seeding particles. (3) Seeding with salt micro-powder can hasten the onset of surface rainfall and increase the accumulated amount of surface rainfall if the amount of seeding particles is sufficient. (4) Seeding by a hygroscopic flare decreases rainfall in the case of large updraft velocity (shallow convective cloud) and increases rainfall slightly in the case of small updraft velocity (stratiform cloud). (5) Seeding with hygroscopic flares including ultra-giant particles (r>5 μm) hastens the onset of surface rainfall but may not significantly increase the accumulated surface rainfall amount. (6) Hygroscopic seeding increases surface rainfall by two kinds of effects: the "competition effect" by which large soluble particles prevent the activation of smaller particles and the "raindrop embryo effect" in which giant soluble particles can immediately become raindrop embryos. In some cases, one of the effects works, and in other cases, both effects work, depending on the updraft velocity and the amount and size of seeding particles.