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Atmosphere 2016, 7(10), 137; doi:10.3390/atmos7100137

Role of Water Vapor Content in the Effects of Aerosol on the Electrification of Thunderstorms: A Numerical Study

1
Plateau Atmosphere and Environment Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, College of Atmospheric Science, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu 610225, China
2
Key Laboratory for Aerosol-Cloud-Precipitation of China Meteorological Administration, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
3
Institute of Tropical and Marine Meteorology, CMA, Guangzhou 510080, China
4
Collaborative Innovation Center on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters, Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology, Nanjing 210044, China
5
Heavy Rain and Drought-Flood Disasters in Plateau and Basin Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610072, China
6
Climate Center of Sichuan Province, Chengdu 610072, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Robert W. Talbot
Received: 4 September 2016 / Revised: 14 October 2016 / Accepted: 16 October 2016 / Published: 20 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6553 KB, uploaded 20 October 2016]   |  

Abstract

We explored the role of the water vapor content below the freezing level in the response of idealized supercell storm electrical processes to increased concentrations of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). Using the Weather Research and Forecasting model coupled with parameterizations electrification and discharging, we performed 30 simulations by varying both the CCN concentration and water vapor content below the freezing level. The sensitivity simulations showed a distinct response to increased concentrations of CCN, depending on the water vapor content below the freezing level. Enhancing CCN concentrations increased electrification processes of thunderstorms and produced a new negative charge region above the main positive charge center when there were ample amounts of water vapor below the freezing level. Conversely, there were weak effects on electrification and the charge structure in numerical experiments initialized with lower water vapor content below the freezing level. View Full-Text
Keywords: aerosol effects; water vapor content; electrical activity; thunderstorm; WRF model aerosol effects; water vapor content; electrical activity; thunderstorm; WRF model
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Zhao, P.; Yin, Y.; Xiao, H.; Zhou, Y.; Liu, J. Role of Water Vapor Content in the Effects of Aerosol on the Electrification of Thunderstorms: A Numerical Study. Atmosphere 2016, 7, 137.

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