Articles | Volume 13, issue 8
Research article
30 Apr 2013
Research article |  | 30 Apr 2013

Mineral dust indirect effects and cloud radiative feedbacks of a simulated idealized nocturnal squall line

R. B. Seigel, S. C. van den Heever, and S. M. Saleeby

Abstract. Mineral dust is arguably the most abundant aerosol species in the world and as such potentially plays a large role in aerosol indirect effects (AIEs). This study assesses and isolates the individual responses in a squall line that arise (1) from radiation, (2) from dust altering the microphysics, as well as (3) from the synergistic effects between (1) and (2). To accomplish these tasks, we use the Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (RAMS) set up as a cloud-resolving model (CRM). The CRM contains aerosol and microphysical schemes that allow mineral dust particles to nucleate as cloud drops and ice crystals, replenish upon evaporation and sublimation, be tracked throughout hydrometeor transition, and be scavenged by precipitation and dry sedimentation.

Factor separation is used on four simulations of the squall line in order to isolate the individual roles of radiation (RADIATION), microphysically active dust (DUST MICRO), and the nonlinear interactions of those factors (SYNERGY). Results indicate that RADIATION acts to increase precipitation, intensify the cold pool, and enhance the mesoscale organization of the squall line due to changes in microphysics originating from cloud top cooling. Conversely, DUST MICRO decreases precipitation, weakens the cold pool, and weakens the mesoscale organization of the squall line due to an enhancement of the warm rain process. SYNERGY shows little impact on the squall line, except near the freezing level, where an increase in mesoscale organization takes place. The combined effect of the mineral dust AIE due to both DUST MICRO and SYNERGY is to weaken the squall line.

Final-revised paper