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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-411
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-411
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 May 2020

12 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal ACP.

Urbanization-induced land and aerosol impacts on sea breeze circulation and convective precipitation

Jiwen Fan1, Yuwei Zhang1, Zhanqing Li2, Jiaxi Hu3, and Daniel Rosenfeld4 Jiwen Fan et al.
  • 1Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA
  • 2Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
  • 3University of Oklahoma, and NOAA/OAR National Severe Storms Laboratory, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, Norman, OK, USA
  • 4Institute of Earth Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel

Abstract. Changes in land cover and aerosols resulting from urbanization may impact convective clouds and precipitation. Here we investigate how Houston urbanization can modify sea-breeze induced convective cloud and precipitation through urban land effect and anthropogenic aerosol effect. The simulations are carried out with the Chemistry version of the Weather Research and Forecasting model (WRF-Chem), which is coupled with the spectral-bin microphysics (SBM) and the multilayer urban model with a building energy model (BEM-BEP). We find that Houston urbanization (the joint effect of both urban land and anthropogenic aerosols) notably enhances storm intensity (by ~ 15 m s−1 in maximum vertical velocity) and precipitation intensity (up to 45 %), with the anthropogenic aerosol effect more significant than the urban land effect. Urban land effect modifies convective evolution: speed up the transition from the warm cloud to mixed-phase cloud thus initiating surface rain earlier but slowing down the convective cell dissipation, all of which result from urban heating induced stronger sea breeze circulation. The anthropogenic aerosol effect becomes evident after the cloud evolves into the mixed-phase cloud, accelerating the development of storm from the mixed-phase cloud to deep cloud by ~ 40 min. Through aerosol-cloud interaction (ACI), aerosols boost convective intensity and precipitation mainly by activating numerous ultrafine particles at the mixed-phase and deep cloud stages. This work shows the importance of considering both urban land and anthropogenic aerosol effects for understanding urbanization effects on convective clouds and precipitation.

Jiwen Fan et al.

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Jiwen Fan et al.

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Short summary
We investigate the urbanization-induced land and aerosol impacts on convective clouds and precipitation over Houston. We find that Houston urbanization notably enhances storm intensity and precipitation, with the anthropogenic aerosol effect more significant. Urban land effect strengthens sea breeze circulation, leading to a faster development of warm cloud into mixed-phase cloud and earlier rain. The anthropogenic aerosol effect accelerates the development of storm into deep convection.
We investigate the urbanization-induced land and aerosol impacts on convective clouds and...
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