Spatial Distribution and Impacts of Aerosols on Clouds Under Meiyu Frontal Weather Background Over Central China Based on Aircraft Observations

Junmei Yang, Junxia Li, Peiren Li, Guode Sun, Zhaoxin Cai, Xiao Yang, Chunguang Cui, Xiquan Dong, Baike Xi, Rong Wan, Bin Wang, Zhimin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


An airborne field campaign was conducted from 10 June to 10 July 2018 in Hubei Province over central China as a part of the State Key Natural Science Foundation Project referred to as Integrative Monsoon Frontal Rainfall Experiment (IMFRE). Comprehensive observations of atmospheric aerosols and cloud characteristics in this region were collected and analyzed. In this study, data from six flights on nonprecipitating days were selected to investigate the spatial distribution of aerosols and microphysical properties of clouds. The profiles of aerosol number concentrations (Na) were 1 order of magnitude lower than those over the North Plain of China, due to the different atmospheric backgrounds, local emission, and long-range transport. The highest Na occurred at the altitude of the temperature inversion layer (TIL), indicating that Na profiles were significantly affected by the TIL structure. Relative humidity (RH) had an effect on the aerosol size distribution where high RH values corresponded well with large values of particle mean diameter (MD). Compared with the vertical distributions of Na and MD, their horizontal directions had minor changes, except for the MD at 4,000 m in one case. Of the three flights that penetrated through the stratiform clouds, the probability distribution functions of cloud droplet number concentration (Nc), effective radius (re), and liquid water content (LWC), showed the same features with a single peak mode. Since the nucleation of aerosol in-cloud caused the decrease of aerosol concentration, the maximum aerosol activation ratio almost reached 74%. The average spectrum of cloud droplets showed a multimodal distribution and their microphysical properties were analyzed in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2019JD031915
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 16 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science


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