Biomass burning CCN enhance the dynamics of a mesoscale convective system over the La Plata Basin: a numerical approach
Abstract. High aerosol loadings are discharged into the atmosphere every year by biomass burning in the Amazon and central Brazil during the dry season (July–December). These particles, suspended in the atmosphere, can be carried via a low-level jet toward the La Plata Basin, one of the largest hydrographic basins in the world. Once they reach this region, the aerosols can affect mesoscale convective systems (MCSs), whose frequency is higher during the spring and summer over the basin. The present study is one of the first that seeks to understand the microphysical effects of biomass burning aerosols from the Amazon Basin on mesoscale convective systems over the La Plata Basin. We performed numerical simulations initialized with idealized cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) profiles for an MCS case observed over the La Plata Basin on 21 September 2010. The experiments reveal an important link between CCN number concentration and MCS dynamics, where stronger downdrafts were observed under higher amounts of aerosols, generating more updraft cells in response. Moreover, the simulations show higher amounts of precipitation as the CCN concentration increases. Despite the model's uncertainties and limitations, these results represent an important step toward the understanding of possible impacts on the Amazon biomass burning aerosols over neighboring regions such as the La Plata Basin.