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Penide G.,CNRS Optical Atmosphere Laboratory | Kumar V.V.,Monash University | Protat A.,Monash University | May P.T.,Monash University
Monthly Weather Review | Year: 2013

C-band polarimetric radar measurements spanning two wet seasons are used to study the effects of the large-scale environment on the statistical properties of stratiform and convective rainfall around Darwin, Australia. The rainfall physical properties presented herein are the reflectivity fields, daily rainfall accumulations and raining area, rain rates, and drop size distribution (DSD) parameters (median volume diameter and "normalized" intercept parameter). Each of these properties is then analyzed according to five different atmospheric regimes and further separated into stratiform or convective rain categories following a DSDbased approach. The regimes, objectively identified by radiosonde thermodynamic and wind measurements, represent typical wet-season atmospheric conditions: the active monsoon regime, the "break" periods, the "buildup" regime, the trade wind regime, and a mixture of inactive/break periods. The large-scale context is found to strongly modulate rainfall and cloud microphysical properties. For example, during the active monsoon regime, the daily rain accumulation is higher than in the other regimes, while this regime is associated with the lowest rain rates. Precipitation in this active monsoon regime is found to be widespread and mainly composed of small particles in high concentration compared to the other regimes. Vertical profiles of reflectivity and DSD parameters suggest that warm rain processes are dominant during this regime. In contrast, rainfall properties in the drier regimes (trade wind/buildup regimes) are mostly of continental origin, with rain rates higher than in the moister regimes. In these drier regimes, precipitation is mainly formed of large raindrops in relatively low concentration due to a larger contribution of the ice microphysical processes on the rainfall formation. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

Crumeyrolle S.,Oak Ridge Associated Universities | Crumeyrolle S.,NASA | Crumeyrolle S.,CNRS Optical Atmosphere Laboratory | Chen G.,NASA | And 12 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2014

During the NASA DISCOVER-AQ campaign over the US Baltimore, MD-Washington, D.C., metropolitan area in July 2011, the NASA P-3B aircraft performed extensive profiling of aerosol optical, chemical, and microphysical properties. These in situ profiles were coincident with ground-based remote sensing (AERONET) and in situ (PM2.5) measurements. Here, we use this data set to study the correlation between the PM2.5 observations at the surface and the column integrated measurements. Aerosol optical depth (AOD550 nm) calculated with the extinction (550 nm) measured during the in situ profiles was found to be strongly correlated with the volume of aerosols present in the boundary layer (BL). Despite the strong correlation, some variability remains, and we find that the presence of aerosol layers above the BL (in the buffer layer - BuL) introduces significant uncertainties in PM2.5 estimates based on column-integrated measurements (overestimation of PM2.5 by a factor of 5). This suggests that the use of active remote sensing techniques would dramatically improve air quality retrievals. Indeed, the relationship between the AOD550 nm and the PM2.5 is strongly improved by accounting for the aerosol present in and above the BL (i.e., integrating the aerosol loading from the surface to the top of the BuL). Since more than 15% of the AOD values observed during DISCOVER-AQ are dominated by aerosol water uptake, the f(RH)amb (ratio of scattering coefficient at ambient relative humidity (RH) to scattering coefficient at low RH; see Sect. 3.2) is used to study the impact of the aerosol hygroscopicity on the PM2.5 retrievals. The results indicate that PM2.5 can be predicted within a factor up to 2 even when the vertical variability of the f(RH)amb is assumed to be negligible. Moreover, f(RH Combining double low line 80%) and RH measurements performed at the ground may be used to estimate the f(RH) amb during dry conditions (RHBL < 55%). © Author(s) 2014.

Cole B.H.,Texas A&M University | Yang P.,Texas A&M University | Baum B.A.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Riedi J.,CNRS Optical Atmosphere Laboratory | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology | Year: 2013

Insufficient knowledge of the habit distribution and the degree of surface roughness of ice crystals within ice clouds is a source of uncertainty in the forward light scattering and radiative transfer simulations of ice clouds used in downstream applications. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) collection-5 ice microphysical model presumes a mixture of various ice crystal shapes with smooth facets, except for the compact aggregate of columns for which a severely rough condition is assumed. When compared with Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences coupled with Observations from a Lidar (PARASOL) polarized reflection data, simulations of polarized reflectance using smooth particles show a poor fit to the measurements, whereas very rough-faceted particles provide an improved fit to the polarized reflectance. In this study a new microphysical model based on a mixture of nine different ice crystal habits with severely roughened facets is developed. Simulated polarized reflectance using the new ice habit distribution is calculated using a vector adding-doubling radiative transfer model, and the simulations closely agree with the polarized reflectance observed by PARASOL. The new general habit mixture is also tested using a spherical albedo differences analysis, and surface roughening is found to improve the consistency of multiangular observations. These results are consistent with previous studies that have used polarized reflection data. It is suggested that an ice model incorporating an ensemble of different habits with severely roughened surfaces would potentially be an adequate choice for global ice cloud retrievals. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

Martiny N.,CNRS Biogeosciences Laboratory | Chiapello I.,CNRS Optical Atmosphere Laboratory
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2013

Recently, mineral dust has been suspected to be one of the important environmental risk factor for meningitis epidemics in West Africa. The current study is one of the first which relies on long-term robust aerosol measurements in the Sahel region to investigate the possible impact of mineral dust on meningitis cases (incidence). Sunphotometer measurements, which allow to derive aerosol and humidity parameters, i.e., aerosol optical thickness, Angström coefficient, and precipitable water, are combined with quantitative epidemiological data in Niger and Mali over the 2004-2009 AMMA (African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis) program period. We analyse how the extremely high aerosol loads in this region may influence both the calendar (onset, peaks, end) and the intensity of meningitis. We highlight three distinct periods: (i) from November to December, beginning of the dry season, humidity is weak, there is no dust and no meningitis cases; (ii) from January to April, humidity is still weak, but high dust loads occur in the atmosphere and this is the meningitis season; (iii) from May to October, humidity is high and there is no meningitis anymore, in presence of dust or not, which flow anyway in higher altitudes. More specifically, the onset of the meningitis season is tightly related to mineral dust flowing close to the surface at the very beginning of the year. During the dry, and the most dusty season period, from February to April, each meningitis peak is preceded by a dust peak, with a 0-2 week lead-time. The importance (duration, intensity) of these meningitis peaks seems to be related to that of dust, suggesting that a cumulative effect in dust events may be important for the meningitis incidence. This is not the case for humidity, confirming the special contribution of dust at this period of the year. The end of the meningitis season, in May, coincides with a change in humidity conditions related to the West African Monsoon. These results, which are interpreted in the context of recent independent epidemiological studies on meningitis highlight, (i) the particular role of dust during the dry season (low humidity conditions) on the onset and the intra-seasonal variability of the meningitis season; (ii) the specific role of high humidity at the end of the meningitis season in two Sahelian countries particularly affected by the disease. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Gayet J.-F.,University Blaise Pascal | Shcherbakov V.,University Blaise Pascal | Shcherbakov V.,Institut Universitaire de France | Voigt C.,German Aerospace Center | And 9 more authors.
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2012

A contrail from a large-body A380 aircraft at cruise in the humid upper troposphere has been probed with in-situ instruments onboard the DLR research aircraft Falcon. The contrail was sampled during 700 s measurement time at contrail ages of about 1-4 min. The contrail was in the vortex regime during which the primary wake vortices were sinking 270 m below the A380 flight level while the secondary wake remained above. Contrail properties were sampled separately in the primary wake at 90 and 115 s contrail age and nearly continously in the secondary wake at contrail ages from 70 s to 220 s. The scattering phase functions of the contrail particles were measured with a polar nephelometer. The asymmetry parameter derived from these data is used to distinguish between quasi-spherical and aspherical ice particles. In the primary wake, quasi-spherical ice particles were found with concentrations up to 160 cm-3, mean effective diameter Deff of 3.7 μm, maximum extinction of 7.0 km-1, and ice water content (IWC) of 3 mg m-3 at slightly ice-subsaturated conditions. The secondary and primary wakes were separated by an almost particle-free wake vortex gap. The secondary wake contained clearly aspherical contrail ice particles with mean Deff of 4.8 μm, mean (maximum) concentration, extinction, and IWC of 80 (350) cm-3, 1.6 (5.0) km-1, and 2.5 (10) mg m-3, respectively, at conditions apparently above ice-saturation. The asymmetry parameter in the secondary wake decreased with contrail age from 0.87 to 0.80 on average indicating a preferential aspherical ice crystal growth. A retrieval of ice particle habit and size with an inversion code shows that the number fraction of aspherical ice crystals increased from 2% initially to 56% at 4 min contrail age. The observed crystal size and habit differences in the primary and secondary wakes of an up to 4 min old contrail are of interest for understanding ice crystal growth in contrails and their climate impact. Aspherical contrail ice particles cause less radiative forcing than spherical ones. © 2012 Author(s). CC Attribution 3.0 License.

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