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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-863
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-863
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  14 Sep 2020

14 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Ice-nucleating particles impact the severity of precipitations in West Texas

Hemanth S. K. Vepuri1, Cheyanne A. Rodriguez1, Dimitri G. Georgakopoulos4, Dustin Hume2, James Webb2, Greg D. Mayer3, and Naruki Hiranuma1 Hemanth S. K. Vepuri et al.
  • 1Department of Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX, USA
  • 2Office of Information Technology, West Texas A&M University, Canyon, TX, USA
  • 3Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA
  • 4Department of Crop Science, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece

Abstract. Ice-nucleating particles (INPs) influence the formation of ice crystals in clouds and many types of precipitation. However, our knowledge of the relationship between INPs and precipitation is still insufficient. This study was conducted to fill this gap by assessing precipitation properties and INP concentrations (nINP) from a total of 42 precipitation events observed in the Texas Panhandle region from June 2018 to July 2019. We used a cold-stage instrument called the West Texas Cryogenic Refrigerator Applied to Freezing Test system to estimate nINP through immersion freezing in our precipitation samples. A disdrometer was used to measure the precipitation intensity and size of precipitating particles during each precipitation event. The analysis of yearlong precipitation properties as well as INPs for the samples shed a light on the seasonal variation of the nINP values in West Texas. Furthermore, we characterized the bacteria speciation of the storm and ambient dust samples collected at a commercial feedlot in West Texas to identify potential biological sources of INPs in our precipitation samples. Overall, our results showed a positive correlation between nINP and intensity of precipitation with notably large hydrometeor sizes in storm precipitations. Amongst all observed precipitation types, the highest INPs were found in the snow samples, and hail/thunderstorm samples have the highest INPs at high temperature −5°C.

Hemanth S. K. Vepuri et al.

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Hemanth S. K. Vepuri et al.

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Short summary
Due to a high frequency of storm events, West Texas is an ideal location to study ice-nucleating (INPs) in severe precipitation. A notable relationship between INP concentration and precipitation intensity was found. Inclusion of aerosol particles from local feedlots was found in our precipitation samples. Overall, our findings hint that INPs play an important role in aerosol-cloud interactions and affect the hydrological cycle at least at the regional scale.
Due to a high frequency of storm events, West Texas is an ideal location to study ice-nucleating...
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