The sensitivity of intense rainfall to aerosol particle loading – a comparison of bin-resolved microphysics modelling with observations of heavy precipitation from HyMeX IOP7a

Kagkara, Christina; Wobrock, Wolfram; Planche, Céline; Flossmann, Andrea I.

Over the Cévennes–Vivarais region in southern France 5 h intensive rainfall covering an area of 1000 kminline-formula2 with more than 50 mm of rain accumulation was observed during IOP7a of HyMeX. This study evaluates the performance of a bin-resolved cloud model for simulating this heavy-precipitation event. The simulation results were compared with observations of rain accumulation, radar reflectivity, temporal and spatial evolution of precipitation, 5 min rain rates, and raindrop size distributions (RSDs). The different scenarios for aerosol number concentrations range from 1000 to 2900 cminline-formula−3 and represent realistic conditions for this region. Model results reproduce the heavy-precipitation event with respect to maximum rain intensity, surface area covered by intense rain and the duration, as well as the RSD. Differences occur in the short-term rainfall rates, as well as in the drop number concentration. The cloud condensation number concentration has a notable influence on the simulated rainfall, on both the surface amount and intensity but also on the RSD properties, and should be taken into account in microphysics parameterizations.

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Kagkara, Christina / Wobrock, Wolfram / Planche, Céline / et al: The sensitivity of intense rainfall to aerosol particle loading – a comparison of bin-resolved microphysics modelling with observations of heavy precipitation from HyMeX IOP7a. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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