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Overview and statistical analysis of boundary layer clouds and precipitation over the western North-Atlantic Ocean

Kirschler, Simon and Voigt, Christiane and Anderson, Bruce E. and Chen, Gao and Crosbie, Ewan C. and Ferrare, Richard A. and Hahn, Valerian and Hair, Jonathan W. and Kaufmann, Stefan and Moore, Richard H. and Painemal, David and Robinson, Claire E. and Sanchez, Kevin J. and Scarino, Amy Jo and Shingler, Taylor J. and Shook, Michael A. and Thornhill, Kenneth Lee and Winstead, Edward and Ziemba, Luke and Sorooshian, Armin (2023) Overview and statistical analysis of boundary layer clouds and precipitation over the western North-Atlantic Ocean. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP), 23, pp. 10731-10750. Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/acp-23-10731-2023. ISSN 1680-7316.

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Official URL: https://acp.copernicus.org/articles/23/10731/2023/

Abstract

Due to their fast evolution and large natural variability in macro- and microphysical properties, the accurate representation of boundary layer clouds in current climate models remains a challenge. One of the regions with large intermodel spread in the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 6 ensemble is the western North Atlantic Ocean. Here, statistically representative in situ measurements can help to develop and constrain the parameterization of clouds in global models. To this end, we performed comprehensive measurements of boundary layer clouds, aerosol, trace gases, and radiation in the western North Atlantic Ocean during the NASA Aerosol Cloud meTeorology Interactions oVer the western ATlantic Experiment (ACTIVATE) mission. In total, 174 research flights with 574 flight hours for cloud and precipitation measurements were performed with the HU-25 Falcon during three winter (February–March 2020, January–April 2021, and November 2021–March 2022) and three summer seasons (August–September 2020, May–June 2021, and May–June 2022). Here we present a statistical evaluation of 16 140 individual cloud events probed by the fast cloud droplet probe and the two-dimensional stereo cloud probe during 155 research flights in a representative and repetitive flight strategy allowing for robust statistical data analyses. We show that the vertical profiles of distributions of the liquid water content and the cloud droplet effective diameter (ED) increase with altitude in the marine boundary layer. Due to higher updraft speeds, higher cloud droplet number concentrations (Nliquid) were measured in winter compared to summer despite lower cloud condensation nucleus abundance. Flight cloud cover derived from statistical analysis of in situ data is reduced in summer and shows large variability. This seasonal contrast in cloud coverage is consistent with a dominance of a synoptic pattern in winter that favors conditions for the formation of stratiform clouds at the western edge of cyclones (post-cyclonic). In contrast, a dominant summer anticyclone is concomitant with the occurrence of shallow cumulus clouds and lower cloud coverage. The evaluation of boundary layer clouds and precipitation in the Nliquid ED phase space sheds light on liquid, mixed-phase, and ice cloud properties and helps to categorize the cloud data. Ice and liquid precipitation, often masked in cloud statistics by a high abundance of liquid clouds, is often observed throughout the cloud. The ACTIVATE in situ cloud measurements provide a wealth of cloud information useful for assessing airborne and satellite remote-sensing products, for global climate and weather model evaluations, and for dedicated process studies that address precipitation and aerosol–cloud interactions.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/198083/
Document Type:Article
Title:Overview and statistical analysis of boundary layer clouds and precipitation over the western North-Atlantic Ocean
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Kirschler, SimonDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-4232-8277144333170
Voigt, ChristianeDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8925-7731UNSPECIFIED
Anderson, Bruce E.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Chen, GaoNASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Crosbie, Ewan C.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ferrare, Richard A.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hahn, ValerianDLR, IPAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hair, Jonathan W.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Kaufmann, StefanDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0767-1996UNSPECIFIED
Moore, Richard H.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2911-4469UNSPECIFIED
Painemal, DavidNASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-1281-4672UNSPECIFIED
Robinson, Claire E.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Sanchez, Kevin J.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Scarino, Amy JoNASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Shingler, Taylor J.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Shook, Michael A.NASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2659-484XUNSPECIFIED
Thornhill, Kenneth LeeNASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Winstead, EdwardNASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9451-2303UNSPECIFIED
Ziemba, LukeNASA Langley, Hampton, VA, USAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-4787-2688UNSPECIFIED
Sorooshian, ArminUniversity of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2243-2264UNSPECIFIED
Date:27 September 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:23
DOI:10.5194/acp-23-10731-2023
Page Range:pp. 10731-10750
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Series Name:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
ISSN:1680-7316
Status:Published
Keywords:boundary layer clouds, trace gases, aerosol, cloud measurements, ACTIVATE
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project Climatic relevance of atmospheric tracer gases, aerosols and clouds
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Cloud Physics
Deposited By: Keur, Natalie Desiree
Deposited On:13 Oct 2023 10:32
Last Modified:20 Oct 2023 08:20

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