Implementation of warm-cloud processes in a source-oriented WRF/Chem model to study the effect of aerosol mixing state on fog formation in the Central Valley of California
Abstract. The source-oriented Weather Research and Forecasting chemistry model (SOWC) was modified to include warm cloud processes and was applied to investigate how aerosol mixing states influence fog formation and optical properties in the atmosphere. SOWC tracks a 6-D chemical variable (X, Z, Y, size bins, source types, species) through an explicit simulation of atmospheric chemistry and physics. A source-oriented cloud condensation nuclei module was implemented into the SOWC model to simulate warm clouds using the modified two-moment Purdue Lin microphysics scheme. The Goddard shortwave and long-wave radiation schemes were modified to interact with source-oriented aerosols and cloud droplets so that aerosol direct and indirect effects could be studied.
The enhanced SOWC model was applied to study a fog event that occurred on 17 January 2011, in the Central Valley of California. Tule fog occurred because an atmospheric river effectively advected high moisture into the Central Valley and nighttime drainage flow brought cold air from mountains into the valley. The SOWC model produced reasonable liquid water path, spatial distribution and duration of fog events. The inclusion of aerosol–radiation interaction only slightly modified simulation results since cloud optical thickness dominated the radiation budget in fog events. The source-oriented mixture representation of particles reduced cloud droplet number relative to the internal mixture approach that artificially coats hydrophobic particles with hygroscopic components. The fraction of aerosols activating into cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) at a supersaturation of 0.5 % in the Central Valley decreased from 94 % in the internal mixture model to 80 % in the source-oriented model. This increased surface energy flux by 3–5 W m−2 and surface temperature by as much as 0.25 K in the daytime.